2019 Australian federal election

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2019 Australian federal election

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On or before 18 May 2019 (half-Senate)

On or before 2 November 2019
(House of Representatives)

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All 151 seats in the House of Representatives
76 seats are needed for a majority
40 (of the 76) seats in the Senate
Opinion polls
  Scott Morrison Bill Shorten
Leader Scott Morrison Bill Shorten
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since 24 August 2018 (2018-08-24) 13 October 2013 (2013-10-13)
Leader's seat Cook (NSW) Maribyrnong (Vic.)
Last election 76 seats 69 seats
Current seats 73 seats 69 seats
Seats needed Increase3 Increase7
2016 TPP 50.36% 49.64%

  Richard Di Natale Bob Katter
Leader Richard Di Natale Bob Katter
Party Greens Katter's Australian
Leader since 6 May 2015 (2015-05-06) 3 June 2011 (2011-06-03)
Leader's seat Senator for Victoria Kennedy
Last election 1 seat 1 seat
Current seats 1 seat 1 seat
Seats needed Increase75 Increase75

  No image.svg
Leader None
Party Centre Alliance
Leader since N/A
Leader's seat N/A
Last election 1 seat
Current seats 1 seat
Seats needed Increase75

Australian Electoral Divisions 2019.png
Electoral map to be contested

Incumbent Prime Minister

Scott Morrison
Liberal/National coalition

The 2019 Australian federal election will elect members of the 46th Parliament of Australia. The election will be called following the dissolution or expiry of the 45th Parliament as elected at the 2016 double dissolution federal election.

Based on timelines provided by the Australian Electoral Commission, the next election must be held by 18 May 2019 for half of the Senate and on or before 2 November 2019 for the House of Representatives and Territory Senators.[1] There has however been speculation the government could hold a May 25th election by, for example, providing additional resources to the Commission to negotiate an accelerated count.[2] An election will not be held earlier than 33 days after it is called, and will take place on a Saturday.

Australia enforces compulsory voting and uses full-preference instant-runoff voting in single-member seats for the lower house, the House of Representatives (currently 150 seats, but will be 151 seats at the next election),[3] and optional preferential single transferable voting in the proportionally represented upper house, the 76-seat Senate.[4]


Previous election

Though federal election outcomes are traditionally called by political commentators on election night, even during the following day the outcome of the 2016 federal election could not be predicted, with many close seats in doubt.[5][6][7][8][9] After a week of vote counting, still no party had won enough seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives to form a majority government.[10][11][12] Neither the incumbent Turnbull Government led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of the Liberal/National Coalition nor the Shorten Opposition led by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of the Australian Labor Party were in a position to concede defeat or claim victory.[13][14] Many political commentators predicted a hung parliament such as occurred at the 2010 election.[12][15][16]

Turnbull repeatedly claimed prior to the election that a vote for a Labor, Green or Independent candidate was a vote for "the Labor/Green/Independent alliance",[17][18] and also refused to countenance a hung parliament.[19] However, during the uncertain week following the election, Turnbull negotiated with the crossbench and secured confidence and supply support from Bob Katter and from independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan in the event of a hung parliament and resulting minority government.[20] During crossbench negotiations, Turnbull pledged additional staff and resources for crossbenchers, and stated "It is my commitment to work in every way possible to ensure that the crossbenchers have access to all of the information they need and all of the resources they need to be able to play the role they need in this parliament".[21] On 10 July, eight days after the election took place and following Turnbull's negotiations with the crossbench where he secured sufficient confidence and supply support, Shorten conceded defeat, acknowledging that the incumbent Coalition had enough seats to form either a minority or majority government. Turnbull claimed victory later that day.[22] In the closest federal majority result since the 1961 election, the ABC declared on 11 July that the incumbent Coalition would be able to form a one-seat majority government.[23] It was the first election result since federation where the post-election opposition won more seats than the post-election government in both of Australia's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria.[24]


In the 150-seat House of Representatives, the one-term incumbent Liberal/National Coalition government suffered a 14-seat swing, reducing it to 76 seats—a bare one-seat majority. With a national three-point two-party swing against the government, the Labor opposition picked up a significant number of previously government-held seats to gain a total of 69 seats. On the crossbench, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team, Katter's Australian Party, and independents Wilkie and McGowan won a seat each. On 19 July, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) announced a re-count for the Coalition-held but provisionally Labor-won Division of Herbert. At the start of the Herbert re-count, Labor led by eight votes.[25][26] The AEC announced on 31 July that Labor had won Herbert by 37 votes.[27][28][29]

The final outcome in the 76-seat Senate took more than four weeks to determine, despite significant voting changes. Earlier in 2016, legislation changed the Senate voting system from a full-preference single transferable vote with group voting tickets to an optional-preferential single transferable vote.[30] The final Senate result was announced on 4 August: Liberal/National Coalition 30 seats (−3), Labor 26 seats (+1), Greens 9 seats (−1), One Nation 4 seats (+4) and Nick Xenophon Team 3 seats (+2). Derryn Hinch won a seat, while Jacqui Lambie, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day retained their seats. The number of crossbenchers increased by two to a record 20. The Liberal/National Coalition will require at least nine additional votes to reach a Senate majority, an increase of three.[31][32][33] As per convention, the government and opposition agreed to support a motion in the parliament that the first six senators elected in each state would serve a six-year term, while the last six elected would serve a three-year term.[34][35][36][37][38]

Changes in parliamentary composition

In the time elapsed between the 2016 election and the following federal election, many parliamentarians resigned from their seats, while some were disqualified by the High Court of Australia. The parliamentary eligibility crisis involving dual citizenship was responsible for a significant portion of these departures, although the cases of most House of Representatives MPs' departures only left brief vacancies due to their prompt returns in by-elections. Some individual parliamentarians also made an impact by changing their party membership or independent status.

Changes in parliamentary composition
Seat Before Change After
Member Party Type Date Date Member Party
Vic (Senate) Stephen Conroy Labor Resignation 30 September 2016 25 October 2016 Kimberley Kitching Labor
SA (Senate) Bob Day Family First Resignation, disqualification 1 November 2016 19 April 2017 Lucy Gichuhi Family First
WA (Senate) Rod Culleton One Nation Departure from party 18 December 2016 Rod Culleton Independent
Independent Disqualification 11 January 2017 27 March 2017 Peter Georgiou One Nation
SA (Senate) Cory Bernardi Liberal Formation of new party 7 February 2017 Cory Bernardi Conservatives
SA (Senate) Lucy Gichuhi Family First Refusal to join party merger 3 May 2017 Lucy Gichuhi Independent
WA (Senate) Scott Ludlam Greens Resignation, disqualification 14 July 2017 10 November 2017 Jordon Steele-John Greens
Qld (Senate) Larissa Waters Greens 18 July 2017 10 November 2017 Andrew Bartlett Greens
WA (Senate) Chris Back Liberal Resignation 31 July 2017 16 August 2017 Slade Brockman Liberal
Qld (Senate) Malcolm Roberts One Nation Disqualification 27 October 2017 10 November 2017 Fraser Anning One Nation
New England Barnaby Joyce National 2 December 2017 Barnaby Joyce
NSW (Senate) Fiona Nash National 22 December 2017 Jim Molan Liberal
SA (Senate) Nick Xenophon Xenophon Team Resignation 31 October 2017 14 November 2017 Rex Patrick Xenophon Team
Tas (Senate) Stephen Parry Liberal Resignation, disqualification 2 November 2017 9 February 2018 Richard Colbeck Liberal
Bennelong John Alexander Liberal Resignation 11 November 2017 16 December 2017 John Alexander
Tas (Senate) Jacqui Lambie Lambie Network Resignation, disqualification 14 November 2017 9 February 2018 Steve Martin Independent
SA (Senate) Skye Kakoschke-Moore Xenophon Team 22 November 2017 16 February 2018 Tim Storer Independent
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning One Nation Departure from party 15 January 2018 Fraser Anning Independent
NSW (Senate) Sam Dastyari Labor Resignation 25 January 2018 14 February 2018 Kristina Keneally Labor
Batman David Feeney Labor Resignation 1 February 2018 17 March 2018 Ged Kearney Labor
SA (Senate) Lucy Gichuhi Independent Party membership 2 February 2018 Lucy Gichuhi Liberal
Qld (Senate) George Brandis LNP Resignation 8 February 2018 21 March 2018 Amanda Stoker LNP
ACT (Senate) Katy Gallagher Labor Disqualification 9 May 2018 23 May 2018 David Smith Labor
Perth Tim Hammond Labor Resignation 10 May 2018 28 July 2018 Patrick Gorman Labor
Braddon Justine Keay Labor Resignation Justine Keay
Fremantle Josh Wilson Labor Josh Wilson
Longman Susan Lamb Labor Susan Lamb
Mayo Rebekha Sharkie Centre Alliance 11 May 2018 Rebekha Sharkie
Centre Alliance
Tas (Senate) Steve Martin Independent Party membership 28 May 2018 Steve Martin National
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning Independent Party membership 4 June 2018 Fraser Anning Katter's Australian
NSW (Senate) Brian Burston One Nation Departure from party 14 June 2018 Brian Burston Independent
Independent Party membership 18 June 2018 United Australia
NSW (Senate) Lee Rhiannon Greens Resignation 15 August 2018 Mehreen Faruqi Greens
Qld (Senate) Andrew Bartlett Greens Resignation 27 August 2018 6 September 2018 Larissa Waters Greens
Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull Liberal Resignation 31 August 2018 20 October 2018 Kerryn Phelps Independent
Qld (Senate) Fraser Anning Katter's Australian Departure from party 25 October 2018 Fraser Anning Independent
Chisholm Julia Banks Liberal Departure from party 27 November 2018 Julia Banks Independent
Tas (Senate) David Bushby Liberal Resignation 21 January 2019 6 March 2019 Wendy Askew Liberal
Vic (Senate) Jacinta Collins Labor Resignation 15 February 2019 Raff Ciccone Labor
NSW (Senate) David Leyonhjelm Liberal Democrats Resignation 1 March 2019 20 March 2019 Duncan Spender Liberal Democrats

Ousting of Malcolm Turnbull

On 21 August 2018, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton challenged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership of the Liberal Party. Turnbull survived the challenge, winning 48 votes to Dutton's 35. The spill was thought to highlight tensions between moderate and conservative factions within the Liberal Party.

After the spill, there was a suggestion that Turnbull could call a general election to stop a further leadership challenge, but this was discounted by analyst Antony Green as "far-fetched".[39]

On 24 August 2018, a petition with 43 signatures was brought to Turnbull calling for a party room meeting, and advice was obtained on Dutton's eligibility to sit in Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution of Australia. Turnbull stated he would not stand as a candidate for the leadership if the spill motion succeeded, which it did by 45 votes to 40. In the subsequent leadership ballot, Julie Bishop, Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison ran for party leader, and Morrison won the second ballot 45 votes to 40 over Dutton. Steven Ciobo, Greg Hunt and Josh Frydenberg contested the deputy leader position, which Frydenberg won. Later that evening, Scott Morrison was sworn in by the Governor-General as the 30th Prime Minister of Australia, while Frydenberg was sworn in as Treasurer in the Morrison Ministry.[40]

The first Newspoll after the spill had Labor on 56 percent of the two-party vote to the Coalition's 44 percent. Bill Shorten became the preferred Prime Minister in the Newspoll for the first time since 2015.[41]

Turnbull resigned from parliament on 31 August 2018, triggering a by-election in the seat of Wentworth.[42] The Liberals lost the by-election to an Independent, the Coalition also losing its majority in the House of Representatives.

Further dissatisfaction within the Liberal Party has seen a number of centrist and economically-liberal candidates announce that they will be nominating as independents in wealthy electorates, with a specific focus on "addressing climate change".[43][44][45][46]

State of electorates

Based on a) ABC analyst Antony Green's calculations of the effect of boundary redistributions for the next election,[47] b) Coalition MPs moving from the government to the crossbenches,[48][49] and c) the outcome of the 2018 Wentworth by-election, the Mackerras pendulum has the Liberal/National Coalition government on 72 of 151 seats with the Labor opposition on 71 seats and a crossbench of eight seats.[47]

Assuming a theoretical nationwide uniform swing, the Labor opposition would need at least 50.6% of the two-party vote (at least a 1.0-point two-party swing) to win 76 seats and majority government. The incumbent Coalition government no longer holds a majority, and would require at least 51.5% of the two-party vote (at least a 1.1-point two-party swing) to regain it.

The key marginal seats are as follows:

Marginal Coalition seats
Corangamite (Vic) Sarah Henderson LIB 50.03
Capricornia (Qld) Michelle Landry LNP 50.6
Forde (Qld) Bert van Manen LNP 50.6
Gilmore (NSW) Ann Sudmalis[b] LIB 50.6
Flynn (Qld) Ken O'Dowd LNP 51.0
^^^ Opposition wins majority on a uniform swing ^^^
Robertson (NSW) Lucy Wicks LIB 51.1
Banks (NSW) David Coleman LIB 51.4
Petrie (Qld) Luke Howarth LNP 51.6
Dickson (Qld) Peter Dutton LNP 52.0
Hasluck (WA) Ken Wyatt LIB 52.1
Page (NSW) Kevin Hogan NAT 52.3
Boothby (SA) Nicolle Flint LIB 52.8
Dawson (Qld) George Christensen LNP 53.3
Bonner (Qld) Ross Vasta LNP 53.4
Chisholm (Vic) Julia Banks (IND) LIB 53.4
La Trobe (Vic) Jason Wood LIB 53.5
Pearce (WA) Christian Porter LIB 53.6
Swan (WA) Steve Irons LIB 53.6
Leichhardt (Qld) Warren Entsch LNP 54.0
Casey (Vic) Tony Smith LIB 54.5
Cowper (NSW) Luke Hartsuyker NAT v IND 54.6
Reid (NSW) Craig Laundy LIB 54.7
Sturt (SA) Christopher Pyne[b] LIB 55.8
Brisbane (Qld) Trevor Evans LNP 56.0
Marginal Labor seats
Herbert (Qld) Cathy O'Toole ALP 50.02
Cooper (Vic) Ged Kearney ALP 50.6 v GRN
Cowan (WA) Anne Aly ALP 50.7
Longman (Qld) Susan Lamb ALP 50.8
Lindsay (NSW) Emma Husar ALP 51.1
^^^ Government regains majority on a uniform swing ^^^
Dunkley (Vic) Chris Crewther (LIB)[a] ALP 51.3
Macnamara (Vic) Michael Danby[b] ALP 51.3
Griffith (Qld) Terri Butler ALP 51.4
Braddon (Tas) Justine Keay ALP 51.5
Macquarie (NSW) Susan Templeman ALP 52.2
Isaacs (Vic) Mark Dreyfus ALP 52.3
Eden-Monaro (NSW) Mike Kelly ALP 52.9
Perth (WA) Patrick Gorman ALP 53.3
Bendigo (Vic) Lisa Chesters ALP 53.9
Lyons (Tas) Brian Mitchell ALP 54.0
Richmond (NSW) Justine Elliot ALP 54.0
Hotham (Vic) Clare O'Neil ALP 54.2
Dobell (NSW) Emma McBride ALP 54.8
Wills (Vic) Peter Khalil ALP 54.9 v GRN
Jagajaga (Vic) Jenny Macklin[b] ALP 55.0
Bass (Tas) Ross Hart ALP 55.3
McEwen (Vic) Rob Mitchell ALP 55.3
Lilley (Qld) Wayne Swan[b] ALP 55.8
Marginal Crossbench Seats
Wentworth (NSW) Kerryn Phelps IND 51.2 v LIB
Indi (Vic) Cathy McGowan[b] IND 54.1 v LIB
Mayo (SA) Rebekha Sharkie CA 55.5 v LIB


a Although the seat of Dunkley was a Liberal win at the previous election, the redistribution in Victoria changed it to a notionally marginal Labor seat.

b Members with names in italics have indicated they will retire at the next election.

Retiring members

Members of Parliament and Senators who have chosen not to renominate for the next election are as follows:





Opinion polls

Graphical summary

Aggregate data of voting intention from all opinion polling since the last election. Local regression trends for each party are shown as solid lines.


  • 30 August 2016 — First sitting of 45th Parliament

Election date

An election for the House of Representatives can be called at any time during the three-year parliamentary term. The Constitution of Australia does not require simultaneous elections for the Senate and the House of Representatives, and there are precedents for separate elections. However governments and the electorate have long preferred that elections for the two Houses take place simultaneously in order to limit costs. The most recent House-only election took place in 1969, and the most recent Senate-only election took place in 1970.

Section 13 of the Constitution requires that in half-Senate elections the election of State senators must take place within one year before the places become vacant. Since the previous election was a double dissolution, half of the state Senators were allocated three-year terms that end on 30 June 2019, while the other half were allocated six-year terms that end on 30 June 2022. Senators from the Territories serve terms tied to the timing of House elections. For these reasons, the writs for a half-Senate election could not be issued earlier than 1 July 2018. Since campaigns run for a minimum of 33 days, the earliest possible date for a simultaneous House/half-Senate election was 4 August 2018.[70]

The latest that a half-Senate election could be held must allow time for the votes to be counted and the writs to be returned before the newly elected senators take office on 1 July 2019. This took over a month in 2016, so practically the last possible date for a half-Senate election to take place before the three-year terms expire is 18 May 2019.

Whether held simultaneously with an election for the Senate or separately, an election for the House of Representatives must be held on or before 2 November 2019.[70] The latest date for the election is calculated under provisions of the Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (CEA). Section 28 of the Constitution provides that the term of a House of Representatives expires three years from the first sitting of the House, unless it is dissolved earlier. The last federal election was held on 2 July 2016. The 45th Parliament opened on 30 August 2016[71] and its term would expire on 29 August 2019.[72] Writs for election can be issued up to ten days after a dissolution or expiry of the House.[73] Up to 27 days can be allowed for nominations,[74] and the actual election can be set for a maximum of 31 days after close of nominations,[75] resulting in the latest election date for the House of Representatives of Saturday, 2 November 2019.

A double dissolution cannot take place within six months before the date of the expiry of the House of Representatives.[76] That means any double dissolution of the 45th parliament must be granted by 28 February 2019. Allowing for the same stages indicated above, the last possible date for a double dissolution election would be 4 May 2019.[70] This could only occur if a bill that had passed the House of Representatives was rejected by the Senate twice, at least three months apart.

Constitutional and legal provisions

The Constitutional and legal provisions which impact on the choice of election dates include:[77]

  • Section 12 of the Constitution says: "The Governor of any State may cause writs to be issued for the election of Senators for that State"
  • Section 13 of the Constitution provides that the election of Senators shall be held in the period of twelve months before the places become vacant.
  • Section 28 of the Constitution says: "Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first sitting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor-General."[78] Since the 45th Parliament of Australia opened on 30 August 2016, it will expire on 29 August 2019.
  • Section 32 of the Constitution says: "The writs shall be issued within ten days from the expiry of a House of Representatives or from the proclamation of a dissolution thereof." Ten days after 29 August 2019 is 8 September 2019.
  • Section 156 (1) of the CEA says: "The date fixed for the nomination of the candidates shall not be less than 10 days nor more than 27 days after the date of the writ".[74] Twenty-seven days after 8 September 2019 is 5 October 2019.
  • Section 157 of the CEA says: "The date fixed for the polling shall not be less than 23 days nor more than 31 days after the date of nomination".[75] Thirty-one days after 5 October 2019 is 5 November 2019, a Tuesday.
  • Section 158 of the CEA says: "The day fixed for the polling shall be a Saturday".[79] The Saturday before 5 November 2019 is 2 November 2019. This is therefore the latest possible date for the lower house election.


Changes to representation entitlement

A South Australian seat was abolished due to national population shifts which have occurred since the state's last redistribution in 2011—although South Australia's population is still increasing, faster increases in other states will see a reduction in South Australia's representation from 11 to 10 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives. South Australia had only experienced this twice since the 1984 enlargement of the parliament, with Hawker being abolished in 1993, followed by Bonython in 2004. South Australia held a state-record 13 seats between 1984 and 1993. For almost a century beforehand, only one single-member seat had ever been abolished in South Australia, Angas and Angas' earlier incarnation. South Australia is the least-populated state where the current number of seats can decrease, as Tasmania's current representation is the minimum guaranteed by the Constitution.[80][81][82]

Under the new census figures released on 27 June 2017, the Parliamentary Library calculated that under the new numbers, the next election will be held to elect 151 MPs, with one lost in South Australia, and one gain each in Victoria and the ACT.[83]

On 31 August 2017, the Australian Electoral Commission announced that a redistribution of federal electoral divisions was required in Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. As a result of the determination, the total number of members to be elected to the House of Representatives at the election increased from 150 to 151 members.[84] Victoria's number of seats increased to 38 (+1), the Australian Capital Territory's number of seats increased to 3 (+1), and South Australia's number of seats decreased to 10 (−1).[84]

Northern Territory

On 7 December 2016, the augmented Electoral Commission for the Northern Territory announced the results of its deliberations into the boundaries of Lingiari and Solomon, the two federal electoral divisions in the Northern Territory. New boundaries gazetted from 7 February 2017 will see the remainder of the Litchfield Municipality and parts of Palmerston (the suburbs of Farrar, Johnston, Mitchell, Zuccoli and part of Yarrawonga) transferred from Solomon to Lingiari. Both divisions will retain their current names.[85]


A scheduled redistribution began in Tasmania on 1 September 2016, to be finalised by November 2017.[86] The determinations were announced on 27 September 2017. In addition to boundary changes, the Division of Denison will be renamed the Division of Clark after Andrew Inglis Clark.[87]


A scheduled redistribution began in Queensland on 6 January 2017, and was finalised on 27 March 2018. Changes were made to the boundaries of 18 of Queensland's 30 electoral divisions, and no division names were changed.[88]

Australian Capital Territory

A redistribution of federal electoral divisions in the Australian Capital Territory commenced on 4 September 2017, due to changes in the territory's representation entitlement. The AEC released a proposed redistribution on 6 April 2018, and the final determination on 3 July 2018.[89] The redistribution resulted in the creation of a third ACT electoral division named Bean (notionally fairly safe Labor), after historian Charles Bean.[90][91]


A redistribution of federal electoral divisions in Victoria commenced on 4 September 2017, due to changes in the state's representation entitlement. The determinations were announced on 20 June 2018, and will see the creation of a 38th electoral division named Fraser (notionally safe Labor), after prime minister Malcolm Fraser.[92]

The commission also renamed several divisions: Batman to Cooper (after William Cooper), McMillan to Monash (after Sir John Monash), Melbourne Ports to Macnamara (after Dame Jean Macnamara) and Murray to Nicholls (after Sir Douglas Nicholls and Gladys Nicholls). A proposal to rename Corangamite to Cox (after swimming instructor May Cox) did not proceed.[93]

The Coalition has notionally lost the Victorian seat of Dunkley to Labor in the redistribution.[47]

South Australia

A redistribution of federal electoral divisions in South Australia commenced on 4 September 2017, due to changes in the state's representation entitlement. The proposed redistribution report was released on 13 April 2018, and the final determination on 26 June 2018. The commission abolished the division of Port Adelaide.[94] The hybrid urban-rural seat of Wakefield became the entirely urban seat of Spence, after Catherine Helen Spence.[95][96] The more rural portions of Wakefield will transfer to Grey and Barker.[97]

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