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Federal Election Timetable

Australian federal elections are governed by a set of constitutional and legislative requirements.

The Australian Constitution stipulates a range of requirements for the timing and conduct of elections, including the maximum terms of each house of parliament.

The Commonwealth Electoral Act deals with the detail of elections, including voting methods.

These are the current requirements:

Federal Election Timetable
Event Explanation Min. No. of Days Max. No. of Days
Dissolution of Parliament
The House of Representatives is dissolved by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. (Constitution, Section 5 and Section 28, or Section 57)
Issue of Writs
Writs are issued within 10 days of dissolution of Parliament. (Constitution, Section 32,
Electoral Act, Sections 151 and 152)
0 days
10 days
Close of Rolls
Rolls close at 8pm, 7 days after issue of writs. (Electoral Act, Section 155)
7 days
17 days
Close of Nominations
Nominations close at 12 noon, between 10 and 27 days after issue of writs. (Electoral Act, Section 156)
10 days
37 days
Declaration of Nominations
Declaration of Nominations is 24 hours after nominations close. (Electoral Act, Section 176)
11 days
38 days
Polling Day
Polling day is fixed between 23 and 31 days after the date of nominations. (Electoral Act, Sections 157 and 158)
33 days
68 days
Return of Writs
Writs must be returned within 100 days of their issue. (Electoral Act, Section 159)
110 days
Meeting of Parliament
New Parliament meets within 30 days of the return of the writs (Constitution, Section 5). The House of Representatives expires 3 years after its first meeting but can be dissolved earlier (Constitution Section 28)
140 days

Source: Australian Electoral Commission publications

Election Timetables
Malcolm Farnsworth
© 1995-2024