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When will the next Federal Election be? Will it be early?

With an agreement reached between Labor and the Greens to pass the government’s housing legislation, even the remotest prospect of an early double dissolution election has vanished.

The only way for a joint House and Senate election to be held before August 2024 was via a double dissolution election. With that already unlikely option now removed, an election before August 2024 is only possible if Anthony Albanese breaks with 50 years of Prime Ministerial tradition and holds separate House and half-Senate elections.

In theory a House election can be called at any time, but as has been the case at every election since 1974, the next House elections will be held in conjunction with the next half-Senate election due at latest in May 2025.

Fixed terms and a constitutional restrictions mean that writs for a half-Senate election cannot be issued until 1 July in the year before a Senate term expires. This restriction creates an election window between August and May every three years.

The next election window opens on Saturday 3 August 2024, the first possible date for an election if writs are issued on 1 July. The election window will stay open until mid-May 2025, the last date being 17 or 24 May.

There remains a chance the government could go to a House and half-Senate election between August and October 2024. But the option is unlikely due to redistributions and a series of state and territory elections. Everything points to the government going full term to May 2025.

Of course, events over the next 20 months could unfold differently. And if they do, the election could arrive earlier than April-May 2025.
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