On Twitter recently, the most frequent question I am asked is when “can” the next federal election be held. Second place goes to when “will” the election be held.
This post attempts to answer both questions.
The three-part answer on “when can” the election be held is –
- The first date for a normal house and half-Senate election is 7 August 2021, if announced this weekend and writs are issued by Monday 5 July.
- The last date for a normal house and half-Senate election is 21 May 2022. This date gives six weeks to complete the complex Senate count and allows Senators to be declared elected and start their terms on 1 July. A mid-May election would be announced in early April 2022.
- There is a highly improbable option for a half-Senate election by 21 May 2022 and a separate House election as late as 3 September 2022.
The short answer on “when will” the election be held is –
- when the Prime Minister thinks his government has the best chance of winning, or
- if prospects look grim, the last possible date.