What You Need to Know About the 2022 Australian Federal Election

What You Need to Know About the 2022 Australian Federal Election
(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

In 2022, Australia is having for another Federal Election. The previous election, held in May 2019, saw Scott Morrison elected as Prime Minister, marking the third consecutive win for the Liberal Party and Coalition. This year, Australia will head to the polls again to determine which party, and candidate, will lead the country for the next term.

Here’s what we know about Australia’s next Federal Election in 2022.

When is the next Federal Election in Australia?

federal election australia 2022
Federal Election 2022 Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As per the rules outlined in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 and the Australian Constitution, a Federal Election must be held every three years and now we know the 2022 election will be held on Saturday, May 21.

Coincidentally, this was the last possible date the 2022 election could be legally held.

There must be at least 33 days between when the election is called and the day when the vote takes place. This time around, however, we have six weeks of campaigning, with Easter and Anzac Day in the middle of it.

How often does Australia have a Federal Election?

Federal elections are held every three years in Australia.

This means that after the 2022 election the elected candidates will be in term until the next Federal Election takes place in 2025.

Who are the candidates for election in 2022?

When Australians head to the polls they will vote for their preferred party candidate for their federal area.

The main parties on the ballot include the Australian Labor Party, the Coalition (Liberal and National parties), the Greens, the United Australia Party, the Liberal Democrats and One Nation.

The major battle will be fought between the leaders of the ALP and LNP parties, that being Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison, respectively.

A number of Independent candidates also typically win a few seats and can end up holding influence on a number of issues.

How is a winner determined?

Australia is made up of 151 federal electorates, meaning a party needs a majority of 76 seats to win. If neither party can secure 76 seats it can lead to a hung parliament.

When Aussies head to the polls for the Federal Election, they will be given two voting papers, one for the House of Representatives and one for the Senate. Voters need to fill out their boxes in order of preference.

Election polls: Which party is currently favoured?

Opinion polls are a big thing in the lead up to the election, but Australia won’t truly know the results of the Federal Election until the vote actually happens.

Recent Newspoll results (as of May 8), which is conducted by The Australian, have Labor as the preferred party with 54% and the Liberals at 45.5%. When it comes to Prime Minister preferences, it’s close with 42% throwing their support towards Anthony Albanese and 44% believing Scott Morrison would be a better PM.

Roy Morgan polling data for May puts the ALP (Australian Labor Party) at 55.5% preferred with the LNP (The Liberal National Party) at 43%.

The Guardian also conducts Essential polls on a number of voter issues. Most recently it reported that its polls showed the ALP leading with 49% compared to 45% putting their faith in the Coalition. Additionally, when it comes to the recent floods across Australia, Guardian polls showed that 26% of respondents thought the Coalition’s response was good, 40% considered it poor and 34% characterised it as neither good nor poor.

Bear in mind these polls aren’t always an accurate reflection of the entire country’s opinion, hence we’ll have to wait and see the actual results on election day, but it’s certainly interesting to consider.

How can you vote in the Australian Federal Election?

It is compulsory for Australians over the age of 18 to enrol to vote. Voting can be done in-person on election day at polling booths (where you’ll also get a democracy sausage) or pre-polling and mail voting options are available.

Voting enrolment is now closed as of Monday, April 18, 2022. Here’s hoping you all got in there in time.

Given COVID-19 is a thing this year there might be a few changes in the typical voting process. Things like wearing masks and social distancing are all expected restrictions, but we’ll know more closer to the date.

For those abroad, you can find details on voting here. There is also the option to vote via mobile for those in extreme circumstances (in hospital or remote locations).

Read our full guide on preparing for voting day here.

How to vote early in the Federal Election

federal election australia 2022
Voting early in the 2022 Federal Election. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’re keen to get in early and vote for who you’d like to lead Australia’s government, you’re now able to do so. Per the AEC, you are allowed to vote early in the Federal Election for the below reasons:

You can vote early either in person or by post if on election day you:

  • are outside the electorate where you are enrolled to vote
  • are more than 8km from a polling place
  • are travelling
  • are unable to leave your workplace to vote
  • are seriously ill, infirm or due to give birth shortly (or caring for someone who is)
  • are a patient in hospital and can’t vote at the hospital
  • have religious beliefs that prevent you from attending a polling place
  • are in prison serving a sentence of less than three years or otherwise detained
  • are a silent elector
  • have a reasonable fear for your safety.

You can find eligible early voting centres online now.

We’ll keep you posted as more information about the Australian Federal Election is announced.

This article has been updated since its original publish date. 

Log in to comment on this story!