Next Australian federal election


Next Australian federal election
Next Australian federal election
Australia
2010 ←
On or before 30 November 2013

  Julia Gillard 2010 crop.jpg Tony Abbott - 2010 crop.jpg
Leader Julia Gillard Tony Abbott
Party Labor Liberal/National coalition
Leader since 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 1 December 2009 (2009-12-01)
Leader's seat Lalor Warringah
Last election 72 seats 72 seats
Seats needed increase4 increase4
2PP @ 2010 50.1% 49.9%
2PP polling 43% 57%
PPM polling 40% 35%



Incumbent Prime Minister

Julia Gillard
Labor

The next Australian federal election will elect members of the 44th Parliament of Australia. The election must be held by 30 November 2013 and will be called following the dissolution or expiry of the current Parliament as elected at the 2010 federal election.

Australia has compulsory voting (since 1925) and uses preferential ballot (since 1919) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives and single transferable vote (since 1949) with optional group voting tickets (since 1984) in the proportionally represented Senate. The election will be conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Contents

Date

The previous federal election was held on 21 August 2010. The last date on which the next election can be held is calculated in the following way:[1]

  • 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."[2]
  • 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."
  • Section 156 (1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (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".[3]
  • 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".[4]
  • Section 158 of the CEA says: "The day fixed for the polling shall be a Saturday".[5]

The first meeting of the House of Representatives and the 43rd Parliament occurred on 28 September 2010.[6] It will expire on 27 September 2013, unless dissolved sooner. (Note: Of Australia's 42 completed parliaments, only one, the 3rd Parliament 1907-1910, continued for the full three years, all the others having been dissolved earlier.) The writs must be issued by 7 October 2013 (ten days after the expiry or dissolution). The last date on which nominations can close is 3 November 2013 (27 days after the issue of the writs). The last day that is a Saturday and no more than 31 days following the close of nominations is 30 November 2013. This is therefore the last possible date of the next election.

Barring a double dissolution, an election for half the membership of the Senate must be held between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014. Should the current parliament run to or near its full term, the Senate election would be held in conjunction with the House of Representatives election; the first possible date for a house and half-senate election is 3 August 2013.[7] An early election, however, would not include a Senate election.[8]

Hung parliament

The current parliament is a hung parliament. It is therefore possible that the government may change without an election if the cross-bench members decide to change their support to the opposition. This last happened following the 1940 federal election when crossbenchers changed their support from Liberal Robert Menzies to Labor's John Curtin.[9] It is also possible that the government might fall with no one party or group being able to command the confidence of the House of Representatives, which would trigger an election. The Government could lose its majority because a member of one of the government parties died, resigned, or otherwise lost office, triggering a by-election. To avoid triggering a general election in these circumstances, the Prime Minister could advise the Governor-General to suspend ("prorogue") parliament until the outcome of the by-election was known. Alternatively, the Opposition could agree to voluntarily suspend one of its number voting so that the government retains an effective majority. This is a practice known as "pairing".[8]

Early election

Federal elections usually consist of a full election for the lower house, and an election for half of the Senate.[10] However, it is possible for the elections for the houses to become unsynchronised due to early elections. An election called before 3 August 2013 would only include the lower house and the four territory Senators.

A double dissolution would need to occur before 27 March 2013, with an election between 4 May and 1 June 2013. ABC election analyst Antony Green has opined that it is highly unlikely that such a double dissolution would occur, as the constitutional 'trigger' for such an election (a bill failing to pass through the Senate, or being unacceptably amended by the Senate on two separate occasions three months apart) is unlikely to be met. Moreover, even if such a 'trigger' were achieved, Green believes that the ALP is unlikely to seek a double dissolution election. If the Coalition formed government without an election, it could call a double dissolution election if the necessary trigger conditions were met prior to 27 March 2013.[11]

Current Parliament

House of Representatives

At the 2010 federal election, Labor and the Liberal/National Coalition each won 72 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives, four short of the requirement for majority government, resulting in the first hung parliament since the 1940 federal election. On the crossbench, one member of the Australian Greens, one member of the National Party of Western Australia, and four independent members hold the balance of power. After gaining the support of four crossbenchers on confidence and supply votes, Labor was able to form a minority government.[12]

Senate

Currently, the 76-seat Senate is made up of senators from the Coalition (34), Australian Labor Party (31), Australian Greens (9), Democratic Labor Party (1), and one independent senator, Nick Xenophon. Labor requires an additional eight non-Labor Senators to form a majority, this means the Greens hold the sole balance of power.

Retiring MPs and Senators

Where a Member of the House of Representatives does not renominate to contest the election, their term will end at the dissolution of the parliament. Members who have indicated their intention to retire are:

Labor

Liberal

Polling

Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian is performed via random telephone number selection in city and country areas, usually each fortnight from Friday to Sunday. Sampling sizes usually consist of over 1000 electors, with the declared margin of error at ±3 percent.

House of Representatives
(lower house) polling
Primary vote 2PP vote
Lab Coa Gre Oth Lab Coa
18–20 Nov 2011 30% 48% 10% 12% 43% 57%
4–6 Nov 2011 32% 44% 12% 12% 47% 53%
21–23 Oct 2011 29% 45% 15% 11% 46% 54%
7–9 Oct 2011 29% 49% 12% 10% 43% 57%
16–18 Sep 2011 26% 48% 13% 13% 42% 58%
2–4 Sep 2011 27% 50% 12% 11% 41% 59%
19–21 Aug 2011 27% 47% 14% 12% 43% 57%
5–7 Aug 2011 29% 47% 12% 12% 44% 56%
22–24 Jul 2011 29% 47% 13% 11% 44% 56%
8–10 Jul 2011 27% 49% 12% 12% 42% 58%
24–26 Jun 2011 30% 46% 11% 13% 45% 55%
10–12 Jun 2011 31% 46% 11% 12% 45% 55%
27–29 May 2011 34% 44% 14% 8% 48% 52%
13–15 May 2011 33% 46% 10% 11% 46% 54%
29 Apr–1 May 2011 33% 44% 12% 11% 47% 53%
1–3 Apr 2011 32% 45% 12% 12% 45% 55%
18–20 Mar 2011 36% 40% 12% 12% 51% 49%
4–6 Mar 2011 30% 45% 15% 10% 46% 54%
18–20 Feb 2011 36% 41% 13% 10% 50% 50%
4–6 Feb 2011 32% 44% 14% 10% 48% 52%
3–5 Dec 2010 34% 41% 14% 11% 50% 50%
19–21 Nov 2010 36% 39% 14% 11% 52% 48%
5–7 Nov 2010 34% 43% 13% 10% 48% 52%
22–24 Oct 2010 33% 43% 14% 10% 48% 52%
8–10 Oct 2010 35% 42% 14% 9% 50% 50%
10–12 Sep 2010 34% 41% 14% 11% 50% 50%
2010 election result 38.0% 43.3% 11.8% 7.0% 50.1% 49.9%
17–19 Aug 2010 36.2% 43.4% 13.9% 6.5% 50.2% 49.8%
Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian.


Preferred Prime Minister polling and satisfaction ratings^
Preferred PM Gillard Abbott
Gillard Abbott Satisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied
18–20 Nov 2011 40% 35% 34% 55% 34% 55%
4–6 Nov 2011 39% 40% 30% 60% 34% 57%
21–23 Oct 2011 36% 39% 31% 61% 34% 55%
7–9 Oct 2011 35% 40% 28% 60% 36% 53%
16–18 Sep 2011 35% 40% 27% 61% 34% 54%
2–4 Sep 2011 34% 43% 23% 68% 39% 52%
19–21 Aug 2011 38% 39% 29% 61% 36% 55%
5–7 Aug 2011 39% 40% 33% 58% 39% 52%
22–24 Jul 2011 40% 41% 32% 59% 39% 52%
8–10 Jul 2011 38% 43% 30% 59% 42% 49%
24–26 Jun 2011 39% 40% 28% 62% 39% 52%
10–12 Jun 2011 41% 38% 30% 55% 35% 52%
27–29 May 2011 44% 37% 35% 54% 37% 53%
13–15 May 2011 42% 38% 34% 55% 38% 51%
29 Apr–1 May 2011 45% 36% 38% 49% 42% 48%
1–3 Apr 2011 46% 37% 39% 49% 36% 53%
18–20 Mar 2011 50% 31% 40% 47% 33% 54%
4–6 Mar 2011 45% 36% 39% 51% 39% 51%
18–20 Feb 2011 53% 31% 50% 39% 38% 49%
4–6 Feb 2011 48% 35% 45% 42% 42% 44%
3–5 Dec 2010 52% 32% 45% 38% 42% 43%
19–21 Nov 2010 54% 31% 46% 37% 42% 45%
5–7 Nov 2010 49% 34% 41% 41% 44% 42%
22–24 Oct 2010 53% 32% 44% 37% 41% 46%
8–10 Oct 2010 52% 31% 48% 33% 39% 47%
10–12 Sep 2010 50% 34% 44% 36% 48% 38%
2010 election
17–19 Aug 2010 50% 37% 44% 43% 42% 50%
Polling conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian. Remainder were "uncommitted".


References

  1. ^ Rob Lundie, Australian elections timetable, Parliament of Australia
  2. ^ "Commonwealth Of Australia Constitution Act - Section 28". Austlii.edu.au. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s28.html. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 156". Austlii.edu.au. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cea1918233/s156.html. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 157". Austlii.edu.au. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cea1918233/s157.html. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 158". Austlii.edu.au. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cea1918233/s158.html. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Parliament to sit on September 28". News.smh.com.au. 9 September 2010. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/parliament-to-sit-on-september-28-20100909-1526x.html. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ a b "What Will Happen if there is an Early Election?". Blogs.abc.net.au. 10 September 2010. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/09/what-will-happen-if-there-is-an-early-election.html. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  9. ^ "Hung Parliament - Where to from here?". Blogs.abc.net.au. 27 August 2010. http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2010/08/hung-parliament-where-to-from-here.html. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  10. ^ The four Senators from the territories have their terms tied to the House of Representatives.
  11. ^ When can an election be held?
  12. ^ By online political correspondent Emma Rodgers. "ABC Online 'Labor clings to power' - Emma Rodgers - (7 September 2010)". Abc.net.au. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/07/3005028.htm?section=justin. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  13. ^ ABC News
  14. ^ a b The Body Politic - Australia, 28 July 2011
  15. ^ "Lib speaks for himself,defies gag by Abbott". The Canberra Times. 25 September 2010. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/lib-speaks-for-himselfdefies-gag-by-abbott/1951905.aspx. 
  16. ^ ABC, The World Today, 15 August 2011

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