Becoming a Candidate in a By-election

A by-election is held when there is a vacancy in a seat of the member of Parliament representing an electoral district. 

This handbook provides information you will need as a candidate in a by-election about:

  • becoming a candidate   
  • the election campaigning rules
  • recording and reporting of donations and election expenses
  • the election day rules.

Key dates for a candidate for a by-election

  Vacancy Notice of a vacancy is given by the Speaker of the House
Day after notice of vacancy Start of the regulated period Candidate expense limits apply for election advertising published during this period
21 days max after notice of vacancy Writ day

The writ is the written notice from the Governor-General to conduct the by-election. It confirms the dates for nomination day, election day and the last date for the return of the writ 

Voters enrolled by writ day will be sent an EasyVote pack and can cast an ordinary vote

Candidate television and radio  advertising can begin from writ day

Day after writ day Nomination period begins Candidate nominations can be lodged with the Returning Officer
20 to 27 days before election day Nomination day All candidates must have submitted their nomination by noon on this date
17 days before election day Overseas voting begins  
12 days before election day Advance voting begins  
Day before election day

Last chance to enrol

End of regulated period

The  deadline to enrol is the day before the by-election

You must remove all campaign signage before midnight

  Election day Voters can vote between 9am and 7pm. No campaigning is allowed on election day
Approx 11 days after election day Official results 2pm target for the release of official results
50 days max after writ day Return of the writ This is the date for the return of the writ showing the successful candidate (assuming there is no judicial recount)
70 working days after election day Candidate election expenses and donations return due  



Last updated: 11 May 2018