Electoral Newsfile 116: Federal Election 2004 Information Guide

Updated: 7 February 2011

2004 Federal Election

The Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, announced on Sunday 29 August 2004 that an election for the House of Representatives and half the Senate will be held on Saturday 9 October 2004. This will be a general election for the 41st Parliament.

The House of Representatives

Candidates for the House of Representatives stand for election in a particular electoral division and are elected for a maximum three-year term.

Members of the House of Representatives are elected using the preferential voting system, with the electors in each division electing one Member to represent them. To be elected, a candidate must win the absolute majority of votes, that is, more than half the formal votes cast for that division.

All positions in the House of Representative become vacant at a federal election.

The Senate

Candidates for the Senate stand for election in a particular State or Territory. It is a Constitutional requirement that each State is equally represented in the Senate regardless of population. There are a total of 76 positions in the Senate consisting of 12 Senators for each State who are elected for a six-year term. The two Territories are each represented by two Senators who are elected for a maximun three-year term equivalent to the duration of the House of Representatives.

When a double dissolution is declared, all 76 Senate positions are made vacant. 40 Senate vacancies are contested at a half-Senate election when it is held simultaneously with a House election – six from each State and the four from the Territories. The 2001 federal election was a half-Senate election. The forthcoming election is also a half-Senate election.

KEY DATES

Issue of writ: Tuesday 31 August 2004

The issue of the writ triggers the election process. It is a document commanding an electoral officer to hold an election and contains dates for the close of rolls, the close of nominations, the election day and the return of the writ.

Close of rolls: 8pm, Tuesday 7 September 2004

Electors have until 8pm, seven days after the writ is issued to enrol or to update their details on the Commonwealth electoral roll.

Close of nominations: 12 noon, Thursday 16 September 2004

It is not possible to nominate as a candidate until the writ has been issued. Candidates must nominate by 12 noon on the date specified in the writ as close of nominations.

Declaration of nominations: 12 noon, Friday 17 September 2004

Candidates names are declared and draws for positions on the ballot papers are conducted twenty-four hours after the close of nominations.

Election day: Saturday, 9 October 2004

The day on which the majority of electors cast their vote at a polling place. It must be a Saturday and at least 33 days after the issue of the writ.

Return of the writ: Wednesday, 8 December 2004

After the Senate polls are declared, the Australian Electoral Officer for each State and Territory returns the writ with the results attached of the successful candidates to the State Governor (or Governor General in the case of the Territories).

For the House of Representatives, the Electoral Commissioner attaches a certificate to the writ with the name of each candidate elected for each division and returns the writ to the Governor-General.

INFORMATION AT A GLANCE
Current State of the Parties
House of Representatives
  2001 Election Current*
LP 68 68
NP 13 13
ALP 65 64
CLP 1 1
GRN 0 1
IND 3 3
TOTAL 150 150
Senate
  Elected 2001 Full Senate
LP 17 31
NP 2 3
CLP 1 1
ALP 13 27
DEM 4 7
HAR 0 1
HAN 0 1
CLR 1 1
GRN 2 2
IND 0 2
TOTAL 40 76
* Following a by-election in the NSW Division of Cunningham.
(Note this is not notional status)
Full list of parties.
Number of Vacancies
House of Representatives: 150
Senate (half-Senate): 40

To win a majority Government

A party or coalition needs 76 seats in the House of Representatives.

2002/2003 redistributions

Since the 2001 election there have been redistributions in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. The Division of Burke in Victoria was abolished to create a new outer metropolitan division (Gorton) west of Melbourne. Queensland gained a division called Bonner. The Division of Bonython was abolished in South Australia. The Northern Territory will retain two divisions at the next federal election.

Estimated Election Cost

Expected $75 million (GST exclusive without public funding)

Enrolment as at 31 August 2004

12 952 415

Turnout 2001 Federal Election

94.85% (Senate)

Number of Registered Parties

61

Electoral Enrolment

Voting in a federal election is compulsory for all people listed on the Commonwealth electoral roll at the close of rolls for the election. The roll for this election will close at 8pm Tuesday, 7 September 2004.

Who can enrol

To be eligible to enrol a person must be an Australian citizen, aged 18 years or over. British subjects who were on the Commonwealth electoral roll immediately before 26 January 1984 maintain their enrolment and voting entitlements. People who are 17 may enrol and will be able to vote if their 18th birthday falls on or before election day. Enrolment is compulsory for those who are eligible.

Types of enrolments

Special enrolment is available for certain electors. People with a physical disability, illness, or their carers, are able to apply to become general postal voters; people going overseas may register as overseas electors; people with no fixed address may enrol as itinerant electors; people working in Antarctica may register as Antarctic electors; and people who believe that publication of their address on the roll would put them at risk may apply for silent enrolment.

How to enrol or update your details

To enrol or change your name and address details on the electoral roll you need to fill in an enrolment form. These are available from post offices, AEC offices and the AEC website (www.aec.gov.au).

PREVIOUS ENROLMENT
State/Territory 2001 1998
NSW 4 227 937 4 076 081
VIC 3 234 874 3 081 632
QLD 2 336 698 2 188 024
WA 1 206 422 1 149 619
SA 1 039 025 1 013 989
TAS 331 675 330 121
ACT 221 184 209 536
NT 111 022 105 048
TOTAL 12 708 837 12 154 050
These figures comprise enrolment at the close of rolls with subsequent adjustments such as the removal of names of electors who died after the close of rolls, the reinstatement of eligible electors previously removed from the roll and the inclusion of those who turned 18 by election day.

Nominations

Candidates must be nominated before they can be elected to the Senate or the House of Representatives. Nominations for this election will close at 12 noon on Thursday, 16 September 2004.

At the 2004 federal election, candidates will be nominating for 40 Senate vacancies and will contest 150 House of Representatives seats.

Who can nominate as a candidate?

Qualifications for the Senate and House of Representatives are the same. To nominate as a candidate for either, a person must be:

  • at least 18 years old;
  • an Australian citizen; and
  • an elector or qualified to be an elector.

How are candidates nominated?

It is not possible to nominate until the writ for an election has been issued. People wishing to nominate may obtain a nomination form from any AEC office or from the AEC website www.aec.gov.au. Nominations cannot be withdrawn after the closing date.

Nominations for the Senate are made to the Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for the State or Territory for which the candidate is nominating.

Nominations for the House of Representatives are made at the office of the Divisional Returning Officer (DRO) for the division in which the candidate is nominating.

No one can nominate for more than one election held on the same day. This means that it is not possible to nominate for more than one division, for more than one State or Territory or both.

Bulk nominations

The registered officer of a registered political party may make a bulk nomination of all their endorsed House of Representative candidates for a particular State or Territory at the one time. Bulk nominations must be received by the AEO 48 hours before close of nominations.

Cost of nominating

Senate candidates are required to pay a $700 deposit on nomination and House of Representatives candidates pay $350. These deposits are returned if a candidate gains at least four per cent of the formal first preference vote, or if they are in a group of Senate candidates which polls at least four per cent.

Further information about nominating is in the Candidates' Handbook available from any AEC office or the AEC's website.

Order of names on ballot papers

Two draws are conducted to determine the order of names on the ballot paper. The first draw provides the candidates or groups with a number. The second draw allocates a position to each number (that is, candidate or group) on the ballot paper.

Candidate Nominations 1993–2001
  Number of Senate candidates Number of House of Representatives candidates
State/Territory 2001 1998 1996 1993 2001 1998 1996 1993
NSW 65 69 63 66 395 392** 319 309
VIC 52 63 44 51 225 289 214 2213
QLD 40 57 48 42 179 192 180 206*
WA 46 45 29 33 116 109 80 85
SA 26 35 31 36 71 78 74 90
TAS 29 32 19 20 27 27 23 23
ACT 14 17 14 14 13 15 13 15
NT 13 11 7 4 13 7 5 2
TOTAL 285 329 255 266 1039 1109 908 943
* Please note this Queensland figure includes candidates for the supplementary election in the Division of Dickson.
** Please note this New South Wales figure includes candidates for the supplementary election in the Division of Newcastle.
Senate nominations 2001
Party NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT TOTAL
LP 4 5 4 6 4 4 2 0 29
NP 2 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 8
CLP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
ALP* 4 4 3 4 3 3 2 2 25
DEM 6 4 3 3 4 2 2 2 26
HAN 3 2 4 4 2 2 2 2 21
GRN 4 4 3 0 2 1 2 2 18
OTHER** 42 32 20 27 11 17 4 3 156
House of Representatives nominations 2001
Party NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT TOTAL
LP 41 35 22 15 12 5 2 0 132
NP 12 4 11 6 0 0 0 0 33
CLP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
ALP* 50 37 27 15 12 5 2 2 150
DEM 50 37 27 15 12 5 2 2 150
HAN 48 15 27 15 12 4 2 2 125
GRN 50 37 27 0 12 5 2 2 135
OTHER** 144 60 38 50 11 3 3 3 312
* Includes Country Labor Party in NSW.
** OTHER represents candidates who are from minor parties, non-affiliated candidates and Independent candidates.

FUNDING AND DISCLOSURE

Entitlement to election funding

A candidate or Senate Group that receives at least four percent of the formal first preference votes in the division or State/Territory contested, is eligible for election funding.

Amount of funding paid

The amount paid is calculated by multiplying the number of formal first preference votes received by the rate of payment applicable at the time.

The current funding rate is approximately $1.95 per formal first preference vote in either a House of Representatives or Senate election. This rate is indexed every six months to increases in the Consumer Price Index.

Payment arrangements

At least 95 percent of election funding is paid as soon as possible after the 20th day following election day. Any balance of entitlement is paid directly following the conclusion of the counting of votes.

Payments for candidates and groups endorsed by registered political parties are made directly to their parties, and payments for independent candidates are made to their agents.

Election returns

Following the election, the agent of each candidate and the agent of an unendorsed Senate group must disclose to the AEC any election donations they received, both in cash and in kind, and their electoral expenditure. This information must be provided in an approved form which is to be lodged with the AEC within 15 weeks after election day.

Please Note: An appointment of agent form must be lodged by the close of nominations if a candidate wants to appoint an agent. A candidate is deemed to be their own agent if the candidate fails to appoint one before close of nominations. Further information is available from the Funding and Disclosure Handbook for Candidates at www.aec.gov.au.

Types of votes

Australians can vote in federal elections by:

  • Ordinary vote: a vote cast in the elector's enrolled division on election day.
  • Absent vote: a vote cast by an elector out of their enrolled division but still within their home State or Territory on election day.
  • Prepoll and postal vote: a vote cast before election day at a prepoll voting centre or by post. These votes can be cast by electors who will not be within their home State or Territory on election day, are seriously ill, infirm, unable to leave work, or for religious reasons are unable to attend a polling place. (Postal votes cast before close of polling and received up to 13 days after election day must be included in the preliminary scrutiny).
  • Interstate vote: a vote cast on election day at an interstate voting centre by an elector who is not within their home State or Territory (technically a pre-poll vote).
  • Provisional vote: a vote cast when an elector's name cannot be found on the roll but the elector claims the right to vote, or if the name has already been marked off the roll but the elector claims they have not voted before in the election. The vote cannot be counted until a careful check of enrolment records and entitlements has been made.
  • Mobile polling: this is carried out during the 12 days prior to and including election day. Mobile polling teams visit electors in hospitals, prisons and in remote areas so they can cast a vote.

Electors making a postal, prepoll, interstate, absent or provisional vote must complete a declaration giving their personal details. This is checked before the votes are counted.

SENATE VOTER TURNOUT 1977–2001
2001 Election 95.20%
1998 Election 95.34%
1996 Election 96.20%
1993 Election 96.22%
1990 Election 95.81%
1987 Election 94.34%
1984 Election & Referendum 94.55%
1983 Election 94.64%
1980 Election 94.35%
1977 Election 95.08%
Voter turnout is the percentage of enrolled electors who voted.

Informal votes

A ballot paper is considered informal if it is not filled out correctly as set out in the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. It is set aside and is not counted towards any candidate.

INFORMAL VOTING 1990–2001 (PERCENTAGE)
State/Territory House of Representatives Senate
2001 1998 1996 1993 1990 2001 1998 1996 1993 1990
NSW 5.4 4.0 3.6 3.1 3.1 3.5 3.3 3.8 2.7 4.2
VIC 4.0 3.5 2.9 2.8 3.5 5.6 3.8 3.6 3.1 3.6
QLD 4.8 3.3 2.6 2.6 2.2 3.0 3.0 3.3 2.0 2.5
WA 4.9 4.2 3.2 2.5 3.7 3.6 2.7 3.5 2.1 2.9
SA 5.5 4.5 4.1 4.1 3.7 3.1 2.8 3.3 2.3 2.5
TAS 3.4 3.1 2.4 2.7 3.3 3.3 3.1 3.2 2.6 3.1
ACT 3.5 2.9 2.8 3.4 3.0 2.8 2.0 2.5 1.6 2.4
NT 4.6 4.2 3.4 3.1 3.4 2.8 2.0 2.8 2.8 2.8
AUSTRALIA 4.8 3.8 3.2 3.0 3.2 3.9 3.2 3.5 2.6 3.4

COUNTING THE VOTES – THE SCRUTINY

Counting on election night

The scrutiny of ordinary votes commences immediately after the poll closes at 6pm on election day. House of Representatives ballot papers are scrutinised before Senate ballot papers. The ballot papers are initially sorted into first preference votes by candidate and informal ballot papers.

House of Representatives

A candidate is elected to the House of Representatives if they gain an absolute majority, that is 50 percent plus one formal vote (not 51 percent).

All the first preference votes are counted for each candidate and if a candidate gets more than half the total formal first preference votes, that candidate is elected.

If however, no candidate has more than half of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is excluded. This excluded candidate's first preference votes are transferred to the remaining candidates according to the second preferences shown by voters on their ballot papers.

This process of excluding candidates one by one continues until one candidate has more than half the total votes and is declared elected.

The distribution of preferences takes place in every division, even when a candidate already has a majority of first preference votes. The result of the full distribution of preferences is used to calculate the final two party preferred figures.

Senate

The counting of the Senate ballot papers also begins on election night. Staff members and the Senate Scrutiny computerised system are used to count the Senate ballot papers.

To be elected to the Senate, a candidate needs to gain a quota or proportion of the formal votes. The quota is calculated by dividing the total number of formal ballot papers by one more than the number of Senators to be elected and adding '1' to the result.

If an elector chooses to vote above-the-line, the number '1' is written in one of the boxes above-the-line. All other boxes on the paper are left blank. If an elector votes in the top section, their preferences will be counted in the preference order registered by the group or party voted for. See group voting tickets below.

If an elector chooses to vote below-the-line, all the boxes in the bottom section of the ballot paper must be numbered sequentially in the order of the elector's choice. The number '1' is written in the box of the elector's first choice candidate and the numbering is continued until there is a number in every box below the line, with no duplication or omission of any number.

The Senate scrutiny treats ballot papers marked above-the-line separately from ballot papers marked below-the-line. The Senate ballot papers marked above-the-line are manually counted in the Divisional Office and the first preference figures for each party and group are tallied.

The ballot papers marked below the line are forwarded progressively to a central scrutiny centre in each capital city where the computerised scrutiny takes place.

The below-the-line preferences of each ballot paper are entered into a computer. The above the line totals for each party and group are then entered into the computer which has been programmed to distribute the preferences according to the group voting tickets lodged with the AEC.

The above-the-line and below-the-line votes are then combined by the computer which calculates the quota, distributes preferences and produces the result of the half-Senate election.

Group voting tickets

Senate groups and parties can lodge a group voting ticket with the AEC within 24 hours after the declaration of nominations. A group voting ticket is a written statement setting out a preference ordering of all candidates in the election.

The group voting tickets lodged with the AEC are displayed at every polling place.

Senate groups that have lodged a group voting ticket are given a box above the line on the Senate ballot paper and all candidates are listed below-the-line.

PREVIOUS ELECTION RESULTS

Senate results 1977–2001
Year ALP LP NP/CLP DEM GRN HAN HAR GWA VPG NDP IND/OTH Total
2001 28 31 4 8 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 76
1998 29 31 4 9 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 76
1996 29 31 6 7 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 76
1993 30 30 6 7 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 76
1990 32 29 5 8 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 76
1987 32 27 7 7 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 76
1984 34 27 6 7 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 76
1983 30 23 5 5 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 64
1980 27 28 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 64
1977 26 29 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 64
House of Representatives results 1958–2001
Year ALP LP NP/CLP IND Total
2001 65 68 14 3 150
1998 67 64 16 1 148
1996 49 75 19 5 148
1993 80 49 16 2 147
1990 78 55 14 1 148
1987 86 43 19 0 148
1984 82 45 21 0 148
1983 75 33 17 0 125
1980 51 54 20 0 125
1977 38 67 19 0 124
1975 36 68 23 0 127
1974 66 40 21 0 127
1972 67 38 20 0 125
1969 59 46 20 0 125
1966 41 61 21 1 124
1963 50 52 20 0 122
1961 60 45 17 0 122
1958 45 58 19 0 122

Party name abbreviations

ALP: Australian Labor Party
CLP: Northern Territory Country Liberal Party
DEM: Australian Democrats
GRN: Australian Greens
GWA: The Greens (WA) Inc.
HAN: Pauline Hanson's One Nation
HAR: Tasmanian Independent Senator Brian Harradine Group
IND: Independent
NDP: Nuclear Disarmament Party
LP: Liberal Party
NP: National Party
VPG: Vallentine Peace Group
OTH: Other

SENATE 2001 RESULTS: STATE OF THE SENATE by State and Territory
Party NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT TOTAL
ALP* 5 5 4 4 4 4 1 1 28
LP 4 5 4 6 6 5 1 0 31
NP 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
DEM 1 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 8
HAN 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
CLP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
HAR 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
GRN 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
IND 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
TOTAL 12 12 12 12 12 12 2 2 76
*Includes Country Labor Party in NSW
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2001 RESULTS by State and Territory
Party NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT TOTAL
LP 21 15 15 8 9 0 0 0 68
NP 7 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 13
ALP 20 20 7 7 3 5 2 1 65
CLP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
IND 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
TOTAL 50 37 27 15 12 5 2 2 150
HISTORICAL TWO PARTY PREFERRED FIGURES 1993–2001
Year Party NSW Vic Qld WA SA Tas ACT NT AUSTRALIA
2001 ALP 48.3 52.1 45.1 48.4 45.9 57.7 61.1 52.5 49.1
LP/NP 51.7 47.9 54.9 51.6 54.1 42.3 38.9 47.5 51.0
1998 ALP 51.5 53.5 47.0 49.5 46.9 57.3 62.4 50.6 51.0
LP/NP 48.5 46.5 53.1 50.5 53.1 42.7 37.6 49.4 49.0
1996 ALP 47.4 50.3 39.8 44.0 42.7 51.6 55.5 49.6 46.4
LP/NP 52.6 4937 60.2 56.0 57.3 48.4 44.5 50.4 53.6
1993 ALP 54.4 51.8 48.4 46.0 47.3 54.7 61.2 55.3 51.4
LP/NP 45.6 48.2 51.6 54.0 52.7 45.4 38.8 44.7 48.6
LIST OF REGISTERED POLITICAL PARTIES
The register of Political Parties closed the day before the writ for the federal election was issued.
Advance Australia Party Liberal Party of Australia, NSW Division
Australian Democrats Lower Excise Fuel and Beer Party
Australian Greens National Party of Australia
Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) National Party of Australia (Queensland)
Australian Labor Party (ALP) National Party of Australia (SA) Inc
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) National Party of Australia (WA) Inc
Australian Labor Party (Northern Territory Branch) National Party of Australia - NSW
Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch) National Party of Australia - Victoria
Australian Labor Party (State of Queensland) New Country Party
Australian Labor Party (Tasmanian Branch) No Goods and Services Tax Party
Australian Labor Party (Victorian Branch) Non-Custodial Parents Party
Australian Labor Party (Western Australian Branch) Northern Territory Country Liberal Party
Australian Progressive Alliance Nuclear Disarmament Party of Australia
Australians Against Further Immigration Outdoor Recreation Party
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
CitizensElectoralCouncilAustralia(NSWDivision) Pauline Hanson's One Nation (NSW Division)
Citizens Electoral Council of Australia Progressive Labour Party
Country Labor Party Queensland Greens
Curtin Labor Alliance Republican Party of Australia
Democratic Labor Party (DLP) of Australia Save the ADI Site Party
Ex-Service, Service & Veterans Party Socialist Alliance
Family First Party Tasmania First Party
Help End Marijuana Prohibition Tasmanian Independent Senator Brian
Hope Party Australia – ethics equality ecology Harradine Group
Liberal Party (WA Division) Inc. The Aged and Disability Pensioners Party
Liberal Party of Australia The Australian Greens – Victoria
Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division) The Fishing Party
Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) The Great Australians
Liberal Party of Australia – ACT Division The Greens (WA) Inc
Liberal Party of Australia – Queensland Division The Greens NSW
Liberal Party of Australia – Tasmanian Division Young National Party of Australia
Liberals for forests  

THE 20 MOST MARGINAL SEATS

The following seats are the twenty most marginal seats across Australia taking into account the 2001 federal election results and the 2002–03 redistributions. A seat is classified as marginal when the two party preferred figure is less than 56 percent.

The 20 most marginal seats
Division State Two Party Preferred TPP Status Sitting Member
Solomon NT 50.09 CLP David Tollner
Dobell NSW 50.38 LP Ken Ticehurst
Canning WA 50.38 LP Don Randall
Adelaide SA 50.62 LP T Worth
Hindmarsh SA 50.96 LP Chris Gallus
Brisbane QLD 51.03 ALP Arch Bevis
Parramatta NSW 51.15 LP Ross Cameron
Wakefield SA 51.26 ALP Neil Andrew
Kingston SA 51.35 ALP David Cox
Paterson NSW 51.42 LP Bob Baldwin
Herbert QLD 51.53 LP Peter Lindsay
Stirling WA 51.58 ALP Jann McFarlane
Deakin VIC 51.60 LP Phil Baressi
Richmond NSW 51.68 NP Larry Anthony
Eden-Monaro NSW 51.69 LP Gary Nairn
Calare NSW 51.73 NP Peter Andren
Hasluck WA 51.78 ALP Sharryn Jackson
Bonner QLD 51.88 ALP *new electorate from 2003 redistribution
Swan WA 52.04 ALP Kim Wilkie
Bass TAS 52.06 ALP Michelle O'Byrne
PREVIOUS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ELECTION DATES
Election day Government elected Seats won Total no. of seats
10 November 2001 LP/NP 82 150
3 October 1998 LP/NP 80 148
2 March 1996 LP/NP 94 148
13 March 1993 ALP 80 147
24 March 1990 ALP 78 148
11 July 1987 ALP 86 148
1 December 1984 ALP 82 148
5 March 1983 ALP 75 125
18 October 1980 LP/NP/NCP 74 125
10 December 1977 LP/NP/NCP 86 124
13 December 1975 LP/NP/NCP 91 127

KEY WORDS

Divisional Returning Officer (DRO)

The full time AEC officer responsible for maintaining the roll and conducting the election in each division.

Divisions (electorates)

Australia is divided into 150 voting districts or electorates, which are known as divisions. One member is elected from each division to the House of Representatives.

Redistribution

The redrawing of electoral boundaries for a division to ensure that there are, as near as possible, equal numbers of electors in each division for a State or Territory.

Roll

The list of electors maintained by the AEC.

Scrutineers

People appointed by candidates to observe the voting and the counting of votes. Candidates can appoint scrutineers for each polling place and pre-poll voting centres. Scrutineers have the right to be present when the ballot boxes are sealed and opened and when the votes are sorted and counted so that they may check any possible irregularities. Scrutineers may assist voters who are unable to vote without assistance if the elector requests.

Swing

The difference between the performance of a candidate or party at one election in comparison to another.

Two candidate preferred (TCP) count

These figures show where preferences have been distributed to the final two candidates in an election. In most, but not all cases, these will be from the two major political parties – the ALP and the Coalition.

Two party preferred (TPP) count

These figures indicate results where preferences have been distributed to the two major political parties – the ALP and the Coalition. In most cases TCP and TPP are the same because the final two candidates are ALP and Coalition. However, in an independently held seat, the TCP differs from the TPP.

Voter Turnout

The percentage of enrolled electors who voted in an election or referendum.

ELECTION LOGISTICS from the 2001 election
Polling facilities
Ordinary polling places
No. of ordinary polling places: 7 703
Mobile polling teams
No. of mobile polling teams who visited special hospitals: 437
No. of mobile polling teams who visited remote locations: 47
No. of mobile polling teams who visited prisons: 17
Pre-poll/interstate voting centres
No. of pre-poll / interstate voting centres: 306
Overseas polling places
No. of overseas polling places: 99
Casual staff
Estimated number of casual staff employed to assist in the conduct of the 2001 federal election: 67 580
Polling equipment
No. of ballot boxes 35 634
No. of voting screens 119 911
No. of queuing signs 7 916
No. of litter bins 11 619
No. of tables 5 936
Most cardboard equipment used is made from recycled materials.
ELECTION COSTS 1987–2001
Year Cost per elector ($)
2001 5.09
1998 5.21
1996 5.08
1993 4.11
1990 4.02
1987 3.75
The estimated total cost for the 2004 Federal Election is $75 million (GST exclusive).

Contact Information

Media Liaison

Members of the media are asked to use the Media Liaison and Head Office contact numbers listed rather than the general enquiry number 13 23 26 which appears on AEC advertising.

Central Office
Electoral Commissioner
Andy Becker
(02) 6271 4400
Assistant Commissioner
Public Awareness, Media & Research
Brien Hallett
(02) 6271 4477
Director
Media & Communication
Phil Diak
(02) 6271 4415
Assistant Directors
Media & Communication
Margaret Meneghel
Roger Wills
Bernadette O'Meara
(02) 6271 4721
(02) 6271 4431
(02) 6271 4529
Editor, Newsfile
Jodi Gatfield
(02) 6271 4439

Further Information

The AEC produces a range of information materials for candidates, journalists and other people interested in the electoral process. Some of the information materials available are:

  • 2001 Electoral Pocketbook: a concise handbook of electoral data and statistics
  • 2001 Division Profiles: a publication that details the characteristics of each federal division
  • Post Redistribution Profiles: an electronic web supplement to the Division Profiles
  • Nominations Pamphlet: key facts for people considering standing for election
  • Candidates' Handbook: information forcandidates in the election
  • 2004 Federal Electoral Boundaries Map: a map of all electoral boundaries
  • 2001 Federal Election Results Map: a map of all electoral divisions
  • Electoral Backgrounders: publications that provide a basic introduction to electoral law, policy and procedures

These and other information materials are available from all AEC offices.

State/Territory Head Offices

The administration of a Federal Election in each State and Territory is under the control of the Australian Electoral Officer (AEO) for that State or Territory. An AEO for the ACT is temporarily appointed for each election.

AEOs may be contacted on the following numbers.
New South Wales
David Farrell Ph. (02) 9375 6333 Fx. (02) 9281 9384
Victoria
Daryl Wight Ph. (03) 9285 7171 Fx. (03) 9285 7178
Queensland
Anne Bright Ph. (07) 3834 3400 Fx. (07) 3831 7223
Western Australia
Jennie Gzik Ph. (08) 6363 8080 Fx. (08) 6363 8051
South Australia
Chris Drury Ph. (08) 8237 6555 Fx. (08) 8231 2664
Tasmania
Alex Stanelos Ph. (03) 6235 0500 Fx. (03) 6234 4268
Northern Territory
Bill Shepheard Ph. (08) 8982 8000 Fx. (08) 8981 7964
Australian Capital Territory
Jeff Howarth Ph. (02) 6249 7908 Fx. (02) 6248 7559

NATIONAL ENQUIRY SERVICE 13 23 26