Federal Election Announcement And Polling Dates Since 1966

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.

Election Announcement to Polling Day Times Since 1966
Year Announcement Polling Day Number of Days
1966 August 11 November 26
107 days
1969 August 20 October 25
66 days
1972 October 10 December 02
53 days
1974 April 10 May 18
38 days
1975 November 11 December 13
32 days
1977 October 27 December 10
44 days
1980 September 11 October 18
37 days
1983 February 03 March 05
30 days
1984 October 08 December 01
54 days
1987 May 27 July 11
45 days
1990 February 16 March 24
36 days
1993 February 07 March 13
34 days
1996 January 27 March 02
35 days
1998 August 30 October 03
34 days
2001 October 05 November 10
36 days
2004 August 29 October 09
41 days
2007 October 14 November 24
41 days
2010 July 17 August 21
35 days
2013 August 04 September 07
34 days
2016 May 08 July 02
55 days

 

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