National

Early voting open in Territory by-election

By AAP Newswire

The Country Liberal Party has ruled out any preference deals with parties or candidates in the by-election for the Northern Territory seat of Johnston.

The ballot will be held on February 29 but pre-poll voting has already opened.

The by-election was forced by the resignation in January of former Labor MP Ken Vowles, who has remained in parliament since he was expelled from the party in 2018.

Former AFL player and current union official Joel Bowden has been selected to contest the seat for Labor while former guitar teacher and indigenous consultant Josh Thomas is standing for the Country Liberal Party.

Seven candidates are vying for the seat but the winner's stay in parliament could be short-lived with the whole of the Territory due to go to the polls in August.

CLP president Ron Kelly said the party was not prepared to compromise its principles for a few preferences.

"We are not prepared to say and do anything to gain power," he said.

"The CLP will not compromise on its well-known policy positions for a few pieces of silver which in this case are preferences."