For both the Senate and the House of Representatives, a person nominated must be:
You cannot nominate for the Senate or the House of Representatives if you are a member of a state or territory parliament, unless you have resigned before the hour of nomination.
You cannot nominate for the Senate or the House of Representatives if you are disqualified by section 44 of the Constitution and have not remedied that disqualification before nomination. Examples of this include:
If you have any doubts as to your qualifications under the Constitution, we recommend that you seek your own legal advice. The Australian Electoral Commission does not provide specific legal advice to prospective candidates.
Candidates may not lodge nominations until after the writ for the election has been issued.
Nominations must be made before 12 noon on the day nominations close. Nominations will be declared 24 hours after the close of nominations.
The sum to be deposited for nominating as a candidate for the Senate or House of Representatives is $2,000.
Nominations for the Senate are made to the Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for the state or territory.
Nominations for the House of Representatives are made to the Divisional Returning Officer for the division where the election is to be held. This also applies to by-elections.
For a general election the registered officer of a political party may make a 'bulk nomination' of all endorsed House of Representatives candidates within a particular state or territory. This allows all of a party's candidates to be nominated in one action. Nominations in this form must be made to the AEO for the appropriate state or territory and must be received 48 hours before the hour of nomination (see subsection 175(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918). Bulk nominations cannot be made for a by-election and all nominations must be lodged at the office of the Returning Officer.
The qualification checklist relating to section 44 of the Australian Constitution (the checklist) forms part of the candidate nomination form. Intending candidates must complete the checklist and provide documents as required, to help demonstrate their eligibility to be elected to Parliament under section 44 of the Constitution.
Intending candidates must complete all mandatory questions in the checklist. They must also provide additional documentation in response to a question in the checklist if they contend to have renounced citizenship, or lost the status as a subject or citizen of another country.
Failure to complete the mandatory questions contained in the qualification checklist, or to provide additional documentation as required by Section 170B of the Act, is grounds for the Electoral Commissioner (or delegate) to reject a nomination under section 172 of the Act.
The AEC will check that requirements have been fulfilled, however does not have the authority to determine the eligibility of any candidate on the basis of information provided in the checklist or any additional documentation.
Intending candidates may choose to provide additional documentation to the AEC to support contentions made in the checklist. All additional documentation must be provided together with the nomination.
The checklist and any additional documentation received with the nomination will be published on the AEC website as soon as practicable after the declaration of nominations. Checklists and additional documentation will remain published until the period for filing a petition disputing the election under section 355 of the Act has expired.
For each candidate the AEC will publish:
After the return of the writs for the election, checklists and additional documentation for people elected as Senators or Members of Parliament will be tabled to the Senate or House of Representatives.
Intending candidates must redact, omit or delete any information that they do not want published on the AEC website. This includes consideration of the personal information of other individuals whose details may be included in the additional documentation.
Intending candidates must redact the address of any silent elector contained in the additional documentation, unless the person has consented to the publication of the address. It is the intending candidate’s responsibility to carefully examine and redact, omit or delete any information they do not want published on the AEC website before submitting the additional documentation.
The AEC may omit, redact or delete, from a document published or to be published any information that the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied on reasonable grounds is unreasonable, unacceptable, inappropriate or offensive. The AEC must also delete the address of a silent elector if the Electoral Commissioner becomes aware that they have not provided consent for their address to be published.
Senate and House of Representatives candidates must pay a $2000 deposit with their nomination.
Each nomination for the Senate and the House of Representatives must be accompanied by a deposit paid by legal tender (cash) or a cheque drawn by a bank or other financial institution on itself. Cheques should be made out to the Australian Electoral Commission. Personal cheques cannot be accepted.
These deposits are returned if a candidate is elected, or gains more than 4% of the total first preference votes, or if the candidate is in a group of Senate candidates which polls at least 4% of the total first preference votes.
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.