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.
An addendum for the Candidates Handbook has been published to supplement the 2012 print version. Hard copies are available from divisional offices. The versions above incorporate the addendum items.
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.
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.