The Candidates Handbook is your guide to standing for election to the Commonwealth Parliament. It covers each stage of the federal electoral process and provides you with the relevant parts of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Act). You will learn about electoral law, and which laws apply to you and the people assisting you.
The handbook includes steps you need to take to qualify as a candidate and how to comply with the law before, during and after an election. We suggest that you read the Australian Constitution, the Act, and other relevant legislation listed in the handbook for more information.
The aim of this handbook is to provide you with general information about the nomination process and campaign activity. We cannot provide you with formal legal advice.
If you're thinking about standing as a candidate for the Commonwealth Parliament, this guide outlines the steps you will need to take when nominating for the Senate or the House of Representatives.
Nomination forms are fillable PDFs and can either be completed electronically and printed for signing, or just printed for completion by hand. Sample forms are available to assist you in completing the forms correctly. You may also refer to the Nomination forms – Pack contents.
Note to prospective candidates – you cannot submit nomination forms until after the writ for the election has been issued. It is also not advisable to obtain nominators too early in case of enrolment changes closer to the election.
Candidates in a federal election are not allowed to be in a polling place, except in order to vote. They are also not permitted to observe the counting of votes (the scrutiny) for elections in which they are candidates. They have the right, however, to appoint scrutineers to represent them during the polling and throughout the various stages of counting ballot papers.