Party Secretary Handbook

This handbook provides information you will need as a party secretary of a registered party for the 2017 general election and includes detailed information on the nomination process, the election campaigning rules, recording and reporting election expenses, donations and loans, and the election day rules.

What’s new at this election?

There will be some changes to advance voting at the election. Campaign activity inside advance voting places and within 10 metres of the entrance to an advance voting place will be prohibited. There will also be a slightly shorter advance voting period, starting 12 days before election day, but longer opening times and an advance voting service will also be available on the Sunday before election day. As the number of advance votes has grown the early count of advance votes may also start earlier at the Returning Officer’s headquarters. Party opening and closing addresses on television or radio will be replaced with additional broadcasting allocation monies and the allocation can also be used to publish content on the internet. These changes are explained in more detail in the handbook.

Key dates for a party

23 June Start of the regulated period The three month period before election day where election expense limits apply for advertising published during this period
22 July Electoral signs Special rules allow signs up to 3 square metres to go up from this date subject to local authority rules about location
23 August Writ day Broadcast allocation can be used to advertise on television, radio and internet
24 August Nomination period begins Individual candidate nominations can be lodged with the Returning Officer and bulk nominations of candidates and party lists can be lodged with the Electoral Commission
Noon 28 August Noon on day before nomination day Deadline for party secretaries to lodge bulk nomination of candidates and party lists
Noon 29 August Nomination day All candidates must have submitted their nomination by noon on this date
6 September Overseas voting begins  
11 September Advance voting begins  
22 September Day before election day End of regulated period. All campaign signage must be removed before midnight
23 September Election day Voters can vote between 9am and 7pm. No campaigning is allowed on election day
7 October Official results 2pm target for release of official results
11 October Judicial recount deadline Three working days after the official count
12 October Return of writ and declaration of list MPs Date for the return of the writ showing successful electorate candidates and the declaration of list members (assuming no judicial recounts)
11 December Broadcasting accounts due Deadline for parties to submit invoices to the Commission for broadcasting allocation costs
21 February 2018 Party expenses return due  


Last updated: 10 April 2017