Voting and Elections

Australia introduced the secret ballot in 1858

History & Features of the Australian Electoral System
Australia has often been at the forefront of electoral innovation, from compulsory voting, secret ballots and votes for women.

Voting Systems
Information on the first-past-the-post, preferential and proportional voting systems.

Australian Electoral Commission & Election Procedures
Information about the Australian Electoral Commission and the procedures and timetables for elections, including public funding.

Electoral Enrolment
Information on who can enrol in Australian elections and detailed enrolment statistics.

Primary Votes
An explanation of primary votes and detailed statistics on primary votes in federal elections since 1901.

Preferences & Two-Party-Preferred Votes
Information about preferences in Australian elections, two-party-preferred statistics and the use of how-to-vote cards.

Types Of Votes
Information about ordinary votes, postal votes, absentee votes, provisional votes, overseas votes and donkey votes.

Informal Votes
Detailed statistics and other information on Informal voting in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Electoral Reform
Whilst Australia has one of the most developed and democratic electoral systems in the Western world, a variety of proposals have been advanced for electoral reform.

Election Dates
Listings of Federal election dates since 1901, State and Territory election dates over recent decades, and the dates of future elections.

Election Timetable
The Constitution and the Electoral Act set down a number of requirements that govern the conduct and timing of Australian elections.

Voting Behaviour
There is much debate about the factors which determine voting behaviour. These are a complex mix of long-term socio-economic factors and medium to short-term political factors.

Federal Elections
There have been 40 elections for the House of Representatives since 1901. This section contains a range of information about House dates and results, including a detailed look at all elections since 1972.

Senate Elections
The Senate has a 6-year term and half-Senate elections are usually held in conjunction with House of Representatives elections.

By-Elections are held when members of the lower houses of Australian parliaments die or resign.

State & Territory Elections
Australia’s federal system means that there are 9 Parliaments all holding elections every 3-5 years.

Election Costs & Funding
Australia’s federal and state elections are increasingly costly exercises subsidised by the taxpayer.

Elections Quiz
A quick quiz on Australian election results.

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