A by-election is held when there is a vacancy in a seat of the member of Parliament representing an electoral district.
There is only one vote allowed on the ballot paper; that is, for the preferred electorate candidate.
There is no party vote in a by-election.
The timetable for a by-election is similar to that for a general election.
The Electoral Commission has prepared the "Candidate Handbook - by-elections" booklet containing guidance for candidates standing in a parliamentary by-election.
It is available to download at the bottom of this page. The information in the Handbook is detailed in the next few pages.
This information reflects the Electoral Commission's interpretation of the law and how it intends to apply the law. It does not cover every aspect of electoral law and procedure. For further information consult the Electoral Act 1993 and the Electoral Regulations 1996 or seek legal advice.
- by-election_candidate_handbook_2016.pdf (PDF 877.15 KB)