Speaker Sets July 28 As Date For Five By-Elections; Opposition Outraged

The Speaker, Tony Smith, advised the House of Representatives this afternoon that he had set July 28 as the date for the five by-elections caused by recent resignations relating to dual citizenship.

Smith

Smith told the House that because of new regulations to refine the nomination process and because of imminent schools holidays, July 28 was the “optimal” date for the by-elections in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Fremantle and Perth.

The ALP opposition accused the Speaker of inordinate delay and said the by-elections coincided with the ALP National Conference in Adelaide.

  • Listen to Speaker’s statement to the House (21m)
  • Watch the House proceedings (21m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings relating to the calling of five by-elections on July 28.

The SPEAKER (15:12): If members could cease interjecting, could I please have the attention of the House on this important matter: I’d like to read a fairly lengthy statement, and then I’ll be tabling some documents. Earlier in the week, I advised the House I would provide an update on possible dates for by-elections in the seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. This update follows further consultation with the Australian Electoral Commissioner and party leaders. Under the Constitution, it is my responsibility alone to issue a writ for a by-election when a vacancy occurs, and generally it has not been the practice to provide an explanation for the exercise of this responsibility. I have varied from the usual practice because of the quite unusual—quite unique—circumstances surrounding these by-elections. [Read more…]


So When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The Parliamentary Library has published a research paper setting out Federal, State and Local election dates over the next few years.

According to the paper, the earliest possible date for a joint House of Representatives and half-Senate election is August 4, 2018. The last possible date for such an election is May 18, 2019. Assuming no unforeseen events, the next federal election is almost certain to fall between these dates.

The last possible date for a double dissolution is May 4, 2019. A double dissolution of the parliament cannot be called later than February 27, 2019.

The paper shows that there will only be two state or territory elections over the next eighteen months: in the ACT on October 15, 2016 and in Western Australia on March 11, 2017. [Read more…]


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. [Read more…]


After July 2, When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The July 2 election will be held just 2 years, 9 months and 25 days since the last election on September 7, 2013.

But the 45th Parliament we elect on July 2 won’t make it to three years either. In fact, it could easily be shorter than the 44th.

The double dissolution election that the Prime Minister is expected to formally initiate tomorrow will be held on a date redolent with constitutional and electoral ramifications.

The government has had a trigger for a double dissolution election since June 2014, when the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No.2] was rejected by the Senate for the second time. Two more triggers were provided on April 18, 2016, when the Senate rejected the Building and Construction Commission legislation.

Why is the Election Being Held on July 2?

Turnbull did not have to wait for July. He could have held a double dissolution election in March, April or May of this year. He could have held one in October, November or December last year. [Read more…]


The Myth Of The Ten-Week Election Campaign In 1984

A popular view of the 1984 Federal Election is that Bob Hawke and the ALP suffered a swing against them because of the “long ten-week campaign”.

In just the past few weeks, as speculation about Malcolm Turnbull’s intentions has grown, the claim has been made repeatedly.

SMH

Monash University academic Nick Economou said Hawke “called an election that ran for ten weeks”.

The estimable William Bowe, in Crikey, referred to “the 10-week marathon” in 1984.

Writing in Fairfax Media, Michael Gordon discussed “Bob Hawke’s experience in 1984, when he went into a 10-week campaign with soaring approval ratings and suffered a 2 per cent swing and lost a swag of seats.” [Read more…]


December 10: Most Popular Federal Election Date

Today, December 10, is the single most popular day for federal elections in the history of the Australian federation.

Federal elections were held on this day in 1949, 1955 and 1977.

All three elections held on December 10 resulted in substantial victories to the Coalition.

In 1949, Robert Menzies swept the Chifley government out after 8 years of Labor rule.

In 1955, in the aftermath of the ALP Split, Menzies called an early election and won his fourth consecutive victory.

In 1977, Malcolm Fraser won a second term in office, defeating Gough Whitlam in a near-repeat of his 1975 landslide.

December is also the single most popular month for federal elections. Twelve of the 44 federal elections since 1901 (27%) have been held in December. The last was on December 1, 1984.

Two elections have been held on December 13, in 1919 and 1975. Two elections have also been held on December 16, in 1903 and 1922. Two elections have been held on August 21, in 1943 and 2010.


RUDD CALLS FEDERAL ELECTION FOR SEPTEMBER 7

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a September 7 federal election.

A few minutes after seeing the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, at Government House, Yarralumla, the ALP sent an email to its members and supporters with the first official announcement of the date.

ALP email sent to members and supporters at 3.25pm today:

Email

[Read more…]