Candidates and Senate groups

Updated: 21 April 2022

A candidate for a federal election must be at least 18 years old, an Australian citizen, and an elector (or a person qualified to become an elector). Further information about standing as a candidate.

Electoral Legislation Amendment (Annual Disclosure Equality) Act 2021

On 13 December 2021, the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Annual Disclosure Equality) Act 2021 and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Political Campaigners) Act 2021 received Royal Assent. Some amendments to the disclosure requirements of the Electoral Act apply to candidates and Senate groups. Further information is available on the Financial disclosure legislative changes page.

For the purposes of the disclosure period and restrictions on receiving foreign donations, the definition of a candidate and Senate group has been amended.

A person is taken to commence being a candidate in an election or by-election 6 months before the earlier of:

  • the day the person announced they would be a candidate in the election or by-election; or
  • the day they nominated as a candidate in the election or by-election.

A Senate group commences as a group in an election on the day that is 6 months before the day the members of the group make a request under the Electoral Act for their names to be grouped in the ballot papers for the election.

A person or group ceases to be a candidate or group 30 days after the polling day in the election.

Candidates who announced their candidacy before 14 December 2021 are required to take acceptable action in relation to foreign donations received in the six months prior to their announcement by Tuesday 25 January 2022 (6 weeks from commencement).

Refer to the foreign donations fact sheet available on the AEC’s website for further information.

Financial Disclosure Guide for Candidates and Senate Groups

The Financial Disclosure Guide for Candidates and Senate Groups is designed to help candidates and Senate groups understand their financial disclosure obligations under Part XX of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

2022 Federal Election

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