Australia is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy; its bicameral legislature, the Federal Parliament, holds a general election at least once every three years.
There is some constitutional flexibility on the exact election date, however:
- The House of Representatives 'expires' after three years, but can be dissolved at any time, with the latest possible date of the next election being within 68 days from the (three year) expiry of the House.
- Senators from Australian States are elected with six year terms, with half of the seats expiring every three years. According to Section 13 of the Constitution, elections for these retiring Senators must be held "within one year before the places are to become vacant."
While not constitutionally required, the half-Senate elections are customarily held at the same time as House of Representatives elections. (The Australian Parliament House Library website provides a longer discussion of these rules and customs.)
The combination of rules means that a general election for Australian Federal Parliament will almost certainly be held between Saturday 7 August 2021 and Saturday 21 May 2022.
Will an Australian Federal Election be held in 2021?
This question resolves positively iff an election is held for the Australian House of Representatives in 2021. This election need not also include the Australian Senate, nor will an election for only the Senate qualify. If the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) website gives an announcement for the date of the next election, the question will close retroactively to the day before the announcement.
Note that the Australian federal parliament is composed of two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate . There is no constitutional requirement that elections for the two houses be held simultaneously, but they are customarily held together. (The last time a half-Senate only election was held was in 1970.) This question resolves according to the House of Representatives election only.