Mr Giles declined yesterday to discuss his future plans. He blamed the recent ABCFour Corners program, electoral redistributions and independents for his party’s devastating loss.
“When the Don Dale (Youth Detention Centre) case came up, I thought it would be a losing seat,” Mr Giles said.
“I won’t challenge it, I didn’t expect a different result.”
Party sources said Mr Giles’s supporters had identified irregularities potentially sufficient to challenge Labor’s 27-vote victory and were mystified about why he had chosen to concede.
Labor has yet to decide whether to challenge the result in Nhulunbuy, where independent Yingiya Guyula beat the party’s deputy leader Lynne Walker by eight votes.
Disgraced former deputy chief minister Willem Westra van Holthe lost his seat of Katherine to Labor. The CLP has never lost Katherine before.
Independents are expected to hold five seats in the 25-seat Legislative Assembly when parliament resumes next month.
Ministers will be sworn in on Monday. In 2005, when Labor won a landslide 19-seat victory, it struggled to maintain unity.
Territory ministries normally consist of eight or nine members, potentially leaving half the Labor caucus on the backbench.