The table on this page shows the announcement dates, polling dates, and the number of campaign days for each federal election over the past 50 years.
Many elections, including the one announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, are preceded by rumours about the date but the only fair comparison of the length of an election campaign is to compare the length of time between the official announcement of the election and polling day.
Turnbull has initiated the longest official election campaign since 1984. It is 55 days (seven weeks and six days) until July 2. In 1984, Bob Hawke’s campaign was 54 days long. It was 53 days in 1972.
In the past fifty years, the longest time between election announcement and polling day was 107 days in 1966. The election date was the subject of rumours for months. A pre-election visit by US President Lyndon Johnson was a contributing factor.
There is no question that the longer than usual campaign Turnbull has initiated is due to his desire to hold a double dissolution. Constitutionally, this had to be announced by May 11. Whilst the election could have been held in June, the July date means that Senate terms will not be cut short, ensuring that House and Senate elections stay in alignment.
- Malcolm Turnbull Announces July 2 Double Dissolution
- The Myth of the Ten-Week Election Campaign in 1984
|Election Announcement to Polling Day Times Since 1966|
|Year||Announcement||Polling Day||Number of Days|
|1966||August 11||November 26|
|1969||August 20||October 25|
|1972||October 10||December 02|
|1974||April 10||May 18|
|1975||November 11||December 13|
|1977||October 27||December 10|
|1980||September 11||October 18|
|1983||February 03||March 05|
|1984||October 08||December 01|
|1987||May 27||July 11|
|1990||February 16||March 24|
|1993||February 07||March 13|
|1996||January 27||March 02|
|1998||August 30||October 03|
|2001||October 05||November 10|
|2004||August 29||October 09|
|2007||October 14||November 24|
|2010||July 17||August 21|
|2013||August 04||September 07|
|2016||May 08||July 02|