Commonwealth of Australia

22,507,617 15

Population (as of May 18, 2015)

Elections in our database

15,676,659 93.79%

Registered Voters (as of July 11, 2016)

Average Turnout

Name Official Name Type
Senate Upper House
Prime Minister Prime Minister Head of Government
House of Representatives Lower House
Queen of Australia Queen of Australia Head of State

Description of government structure:

  • Chief of State: Queen of Australia ELIZABETH II *
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Tony ABBOTT **
  • Assembly: Australia has a bicameral Federal Parliament consisting of the Senate with 76 seats and the House of Representatives with 150 seats.

* Queen Elizabeth II is represented by Governor-General Peter COSGROVE.

Description of electoral system:

  • The Australian monarchy is hereditary.
  • The Prime Minister is appointed by the governor-general having been judged by the governor-general to be capable of commanding the support of a majority of members of the House of Representatives.
  • In the Senate 76 members are elected through a single transferable vote (STV) proportional representation system to serve 6-year terms*. In the House of Representatives 150 members are elected through an alternative voting system to serve 3-year terms.**

* 72 members of the Senate represent the States (12 per each of the six states) and serve six-year terms, with half of these seats renewed every three years. The four remaining members of the Senate represent the two mainland Territories. Parties may present a Group Voting Ticket, by which they recommend to their supporters orders of preferences for the various candidates . Electors can cast a ballot in two ways. The first method is by marking a "1" in a party's box indicating they wish to adopt the party’s recommendation as their vote. These votes then counted as if the elector had ranked the candidates in the party-recommended order. Alternatively, electors may choose to rank candidates individually, from one to as many candidates as are on the ballot. If voters do not rank every candidate on the ballot, their votes will generally be invalid, though some allowance is made for the counting of votes on which only a limited number of mistakes have been made. Senate candidates must obtain a certain “quota” of votes to be elected. This quota is calculated by dividing the number of valid votes cast by one more than the number of vacancies being filled, and increasing by one the quotient so obtained (with any remainder disregarded). After counting all first preference votes, candidates who meet the quota are declared winners and their surplus votes are reallocated via a fractional transfer.

** Members are elected in 150 single-member constituencies spread among the 6 states and 2 mainland territories of Australia according to population. If electors do not rank every candidate on the ballot their ballot is considered invalid. Voting is compulsory.

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Election For Date Votes Registered Voters Turn Out
House of Representatives 1998-10-03 11,545,201 12,154,050 94.99%
Senate 1998-10-03 11,587,365 12,154,050 95.34%
Referendum 1999-11-06 11,785,035 12,392,040 95.1%
House of Representatives 2001-11-10 12,054,455 12,636,631 95.39%
Senate 2001-11-10 12,054,455 12,636,631 95.39%
House of Representatives 2004-10-09 12,354,983 13,098,461 94.32%
Senate 2004-10-09 12,420,019 13,098,461 94.82%
Senate 2007-11-24 12,987,814 13,645,073 95.18%
House of Representatives 2007-11-24 12,930,814 13,645,073 94.77%
Senate 2010-08-21 13,217,393 14,030,528 94.2%
House of Representatives 2010-08-21 12,930,814 14,030,528 92.16%
Senate 2013-09-07 13,822,999 14,704,070 94.01%
House of Representatives 2013-09-07 13,726,118 14,704,070 93.35%
Senate 2016-07-02 13,761,256 15,676,659 87.78%
House of Representatives 2016-07-02 14,120,518 15,676,659 90.07%

Voter Turnout