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Next Australian federal election

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Next Australian federal election

Next Australian federal election

On or before 14 January 2017

All 150 seats in the Australian House of Representatives
and 40 (of the 76) seats in the Australian Senate
Opinion polls
  Tony Abbott Bill Shorten
Leader Tony Abbott Bill Shorten
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since 1 December 2009 (2009-12-01) 13 October 2013 (2013-10-13)
Leader's seat Warringah Maribyrnong
Last election 90 seats 55 seats
Seats needed Steady Increase21
2013 TPP 53.5% 46.5%
TPP polling 46.5% 53.5%
BPM polling 37% 43%

Incumbent Prime Minister

Tony Abbott
Liberal/National coalition

The next Australian federal election will elect members of the 45th Parliament of Australia. The election will be called following the dissolution or expiry of the 44th Parliament. It must be held on or before 14 January 2017.

Australia has compulsory voting, uses full-preference instant-runoff voting in single member seats for the lower house, the Australian House of Representatives, and single transferable vote group voting tickets in the proportionally represented upper house, the Australian Senate.


The last federal election was held on 7 September 2013, and the 44th Parliament of Australia opened on 12 November 2013. [1] Although a House-only election can be held at any time during the three-year parliamentary term, writs for a half-Senate election cannot be issued earlier than 1 July 2016. Since election campaigns run for a minimum of 33 days, the earliest date for a normal House and half-Senate election is 6 August 2016.[2]

The last date on which the next election can be held is 14 January 2017, which is calculated under provisions of the Constitution of Australia and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA), as follows:[3]

  • Section 12 of the Constitution says: "The Governor of any State may cause writs to be issued for the election of Senators for that State"
  • Section 13 of the Constitution provides that the election of Senators shall be held in the period of twelve months before the places become vacant.
  • Section 28 of the Constitution says: "Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first sitting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor-General."[4] Since the 44th Parliament of Australia opened on 12 November 2013, it will expire on 11 November 2016.[5]
  • Section 32 of the Constitution says: "The writs shall be issued within ten days from the expiry of a House of Representatives or from the proclamation of a dissolution thereof." Ten days after 11 November 2016 is 21 November 2016.
  • Section 156 (1) of the CEA says: "The date fixed for the nomination of the candidates shall not be less than 10 days nor more than 27 days after the date of the writ". [6] Twenty-seven days after 21 November 2016 is 18 December 2016.
  • Section 157 of the CEA says: "The date fixed for the polling shall not be less than 23 days nor more than 31 days after the date of nomination". [7] Thirty-one days after 18 December 2016 is 18 January 2017.
  • Section 158 of the CEA says: "The day fixed for the polling shall be a Saturday".[8] The Saturday before 18 January 2017 is 14 January 2017. This is therefore the latest possible date for the election. However, it is unlikely that the election would be held this late, as schools would be closed for summer holidays at this time. Governments tend to avoid holding elections during school holidays, since schools are often used as polling places.[9]

The last possible date for a double dissolution is 16 July 2016.[2]


The Coalition won the 2013 federal election with 90 of 150 lower house seats on a 17-seat 3.6 percent two-party swing, defeating the 6-year Labor government. Labor holds 55 seats while crossbenchers hold the remaining five.

The Abbott Government was sworn into office on 18 September 2013.[10]

Kevin Rudd resigned as leader of the Australian Labor Party following the defeat of the party. Chris Bowen was the interim leader of the Labor Party in the lead-up to a leadership election. Two candidates, Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten, declared their candidacy for the Labor leadership, with Shorten declared the winner on 13 October 2013.

On 22 November 2013 Kevin Rudd resigned from parliament after 15 years, triggering a by-election in the seat of Griffith. Terri Butler retained the seat for Labor.

As a result of lost ballot papers, on 18 February 2014 the High Court of Australia ordered a new half-Senate election for Western Australia, which took place on Saturday 5 April 2014.

Senator John Madigan resigned from the DLP and became an independent Senator in September 2014, citing long-term internal party tensions.[11]

On 13 November 2014, the Australian Electoral Commission announced that a redistribution of electoral boundaries in the states of New South Wales and Western Australia would be undertaken before the next election. A determination of the states' membership entitlements under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 means that Western Australia's entitlement will increase from 15 to 16 seats, and New South Wales' will decrease from 48 to 47 seats. A redistribution will also occur in the Australian Capital Territory, as seven years have elapsed since the last time the ACT's boundaries were reviewed.[12]

Retiring MPs and senators

Members and senators who have chosen not to renominate are as follows:


Opinion polls

Graphical summary

Each colour represents its appropriate political party as seen below. Primary vote polling 25 October 2013 – 5 October 2014

Poll results

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b Green, Antony (12 November 2013). "Timetable for the Next Federal Election". Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Rob Lundie, Australian elections timetable, Parliament of Australia
  4. ^ Commonwealth Of Australia Constitution Act – Section 28
  5. ^ The reason why it does not expire on 12 November 2016 is because 12 November 2013 was "Day 1" of the current House, not "Day 0". Therefore 12 November 2016 would be "Year 3, Day 1" and if the House sat on this day, it would be serving for longer than its 3-year mandate. Therefore its term would expire on the previous day. See Anthony Green's Election Blog
  6. ^ Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 156
  7. ^ Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 157
  8. ^ Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 158
  9. ^ Possible federal election dates
  10. ^ "Abbott's team to be sworn in next week". 9 September 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Senator Madigan cuts ties with Democratic Labour Party, will serve out term as independent: ABC 4 September 2014
  12. ^ "Determination of membership entitlement to the House of Representatives". Australian Electoral Commission. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Thorpe, Clarissa (26 November 2014). "Canberra-based senator Kate Lundy to retire at next federal election". ABC News. Retrieved 26 November 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Essential. 1 Jul 2014 . Retrieved 6 Jul 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c Morgan. 30 Jun 2014 . Retrieved 6 Jul 2014. 
  17. ^ "Tony Abbott slumps in polls despite best week yet". Nielsen. 13 Apr 2014. Retrieved 15 Apr 2014. 
  18. ^ The Australian. 17 Feb 2014 . Retrieved 25 Mar 2014. 
  19. ^ "PM backed despite job losses". Sydney Morning Herald. 17 Feb 2014. Retrieved 21 Mar 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c "Newspoll shows lift for ALP as budget fears rise". The Australian. 24 Feb 2014. Retrieved 25 Feb 2014. 
  21. ^ "ALP (50.5%, down 1.5%) lead down again over L-NP (49.5%, up 1.5%) as Western Australia set to face a new half-Senate Election in April". Roy Morgan Research. 24 Feb 2014. Retrieved 24 Feb 2014. 
  22. ^ "Tony Abbott bounces back as union woes hit Bill Shorten in latest poll". The Age. 17 Feb 2014. Retrieved 11 Feb 2014. 
  23. ^ "Latest Polls". The Australian. 11 Feb 2014. Retrieved 11 Feb 2014. 
  24. ^ "ALP (53%, up 0.5%) increases clear lead over L-NP (47%, down 0.5%). Government Confidence lowest since Abbott Government elected". Roy Morgan Research. 28 Jan 2014. Retrieved 28 Jan 2014. 
  25. ^ "The Essential Report". Essential Research. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014. 
  26. ^ "ALP (52.5%) start 2014 with a clear lead over the L-NP (47.5%) in first major public opinion poll of 2014". Roy Morgan Research. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "ALP (52.5%) increases lead over L-NP (47.5%) after Holden decision to cease manufacturing in 2017 and Roy Morgan Government Confidence lowest since Federal Election". Roy Morgan Research. 16 December 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "The Essential Report". Essential Research. 3 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "ALP (51.5%) gain lead over L-NP (48.5%) after Gonski ‘backflip’". Roy Morgan Research. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Labor storms ahead". The Age. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  31. ^ "7 News National Poll". ReachTEL. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
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