IFES

May 21, 2022 Confirmed

Australia

Commonwealth of Australia

Election for Australian Senate

More Info:

At Stake in this Election: 

  • 40 out of 76 seats in the Senate of Australia 

Government Structure: 

  • Chief of State: Her Majesty Queen ELIZABETH II* (since 6 February 1952) 
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Scott MORRISON (since 24 August 2018) 
  • Assembly: The Parliament of Australia is a bicameral legislature comprised of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber consisting of 151 seats, and the Senate, the 76-seat upper chamber. 

*Queen ELIZABETH II has been represented in Australia by Governor General David HURLEY since 1 July 2019. 

Electoral System: 

  • The Senate is the upper house of the Australian Parliament and consists of 76 seats. Twelve senators are elected to represent each state, while two senators are elected to serve each territory. State-elected senators serve six-year terms under a system of rotation where half of seats are up for re-election every three years, while territory-elected senatorial seats are non-rotational and appear on the ballot at the end of every three-year electoral cycle. Candidates in this system are elected by a preferential proportional voting system in which voters have a choice between “above-the-line” or “below-the-line” voting. The former requires that voters number at least six boxes from one to six for their chosen party or groups, while the latter requires voters to number at least twelve boxes from one to twelve for their chosen individual candidates. Senators running at the state level must gain a quota of first and later preferences that meets or exceeds 14.3 percent of the vote, while senators running at the territorial level must win 33.3 percent of the vote. [1]
  • The House of Representatives is the lower house of the Australian Parliament and consists of 151 members who are elected using a system of preferential voting across single-member districts. In this electoral system, voters are required to numerically rank their preferences for every candidate listed on the ballot. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of first preference votes wins the electoral contest. In instances where this does not occur, the candidate that receives the lowest aggregate ranking is excluded from the second round of voting, and their votes are redistributed based on second preferences. This process of vote redistribution continues until a candidate receives an absolute majority. Successful candidates are elected to serve three-year terms. [2]
  • The Prime Minister is chosen in a vote by the members of the Australian Government, or the party or coalition of parties with the support of the majority of the parliamentarians elected to the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister is limited to serving two four-year terms. [3]

Last Election: 

  • The previous parliamentary elections were held on 18 May 2019. 

Main Parties in this Election: 

  • Coalition: The Liberal-National Coalition 
    • Leader: Prime Minister Scott MORRISON  
    • Seats won in last election: 35 
  • Party: Australian Labor Party 
    • Leader: Anthony ALBANESE
    • Seats won in last election: 26 
  • Party: The Greens 
    • Leader: Richard DI NATALE 
    • Seats won in last election: 9 
  • Party: One Nation 
    • Leader: Pauline HANSON 
    • Seats won in last election: 2 

Population and Registered Voters: 

  • Population: 25,750,198 (September 2021 est.) [4]
  • Registered Voters: 17,228,900 (April 2022 est.) [5]

Gender Data: 

  • Female Population: 12,960,329 (June 2020 est.) [6]
  • Is Australia a signatory to CEDAW: Yes (signed 17 July 1980) [7]
  • Has Australia ratified CEDAW:  Yes (ratified 28 July 1983) [8]
  • Gender Quota: There are no legislated gender quotas in Australia. The Labor Party is the only major Australian political party to implement voluntary quotas at the federal level, where both sexes must make up at least 40 percent of candidates on party electoral lists. [9]
  • Female candidates in this election: 648 out of 1624 (Senate and House of Representatives) [10]
  • Number of Female Legislators: 40 out of 75 [11]
  • Human Development Index (HDI) Position: Rank 8 at 0.944 (2020) [12]
  • Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Very low [13]