Ahhh, the Federal Election. Who is she, what does she want from us and how can we know more about her? Well my friends, fear not, we’ve got all the answers right here for you.

Understanding the election, voting, polls and other political shenanigans can sometimes be a lot for one brain to handle, so we’ve put everything in the simplest terms possible.

Wondering if you’re eligible for a postal vote? We’ve got you covered. Confused about what the difference is between the House of Reps and the Senate? No worries, happens to the best of us.

In this yarn, you’ll find everything you need to know about the 2022 Federal Election. And, we’ll keep updating this lovely article as new updates and information come through! It’s your one-stop election shop.

Australian Federal Election News & Updates

On Sunday morning on April 10, Scott Morrison set the date for the next federal election.

To do this, he visited the Governor-General’s office in Canberra, said “hola” and then asked him to approve the election for May 21.

Morrison then fronted the media for a couple of questions before disappearing into the abyss once again.

When is the 2022 federal election?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decided the next federal election date will be May 21. But FYI, you’ll need to enroll to vote in the 2022 federal election via the Australian Electoral Commission website by 8pm local time Monday 18th April.

Why? Well, it’s actually made clear in the Australian Constitution that an election must be held once every three years. The government could’ve called it earlier but May 21 was the deadline.

Basically, there has to be at least 33 days between when the election is called and the day the vote takes place. This allows the politicians enough time to campaign and sell their vision for the future to voters.

Election Polls

It’s important to note that polls do not tell the whole story about how voters are feeling. They’re a snapshot from a specific moment in time. It’s best to take all pre-election polls with a (massive) grain of salt.

The first Newspoll after the federal budget showed Labor’s lead over the Coalition had slipped again but only slightly.

It showed Labor holding a 54 to 46 lead over the Coalition in the two-party preferred poll and a 38 to 36 lead in the primary vote poll.

Remember folks, the only poll that counts is on election day.

Australian Federal Election Predictions 2022

Which party is in power in Australia?

A coalition between the Liberal and National Parties is in power. Unsurprisingly, we call this the Coalition government.

The Prime Minister comes from the larger of these two parties, the Liberals (Libs).

Scott Morrison has been in charge of the Libs since 2018 and led the Coalition to victory in the 2019 election.

Despite their differences and in-fighting, the parties have been in government since 2013. Yep, nearly a decade.

The Australian Labor Party led by Anthony Albanese is currently in opposition.

At the next federal election, Labor will is wanting to win the election and form government.

Who is predicted to win the next Federal election?

Early predictions come from polls, and we’ll update this section as new polls roll in.

Who To Vote For In The Federal Election

Federal Election Party Promises

I’m sure we all want our vote to count this election, but some of us still aren’t completely across the policies of the major parties.

Let’s quickly recap our options.

Liberal Party of Australia Policies

On March 21 the Coalition government released their official budget. This gives us insight into a handful of their policies, giving us a fair idea of how things might pan out if they’re elected again in 2022.

To quickly summarise, the budget included more money for mental health services, billions for the flood-affected, more mullah for apprentices (and even more for their bosses) but nothing to address climate change or support the already crippled arts industry.

The Coalition list a few issues that mean the most to it on its website.

These issues include childcare subsidies, increased mental healthcare funding (which we saw in the budget), income support for pensioners, tax cuts for individuals and businesses and a bill to address religious discrimination.

We reckon if the Coalition government is put back into power in 2022 it will also be looking at increased defence and military spending, Great Barrier Reef conservation and endangered species protection, increased border operations including reducing drug smuggling and cancelling the visas of criminals, and increased vaccine rollout funding.

Australian Labor Party Policies

Meanwhile, on Labor’s official website the party have made it clear where its money will be going if it wins the 2022 election.

Labor has a strong focus on cheaper child care for families, more affordable housing, women’s safety initiatives including workplace sexual harassment reforms, more funding for the ABC, and a boost in cash to apprenticeship and TAFE programs.

We reckon it’ll also be looking at high-speed fibre internet, a centre for disease control in response to the COVID pandemic, a much-needed federal anti-corruption commission, increased investment in the renewable energy sector (to boost job creation and cut power bills), initiating a national framework for new Aussie startups and entrepreneurship programs and a new youth engagement model to give young Australians a voice in policy creation.

How Does Federal Election Voting Work In Australia?

How does it work?

Federal election voting in Australia involves filling in two pieces of paper.

The first one lets the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) know which candidates you’d like to elect in the House of Representatives (AKA: the Lower House).

The second tells them your preferences for the Senate (AKA: the Upper House).

You’re allowed to put in an early vote, but only in specific circumstances which you can find here.

On the day, you just need to rock up at one of the registered polling locations listed here between 8am and 6pm.

The House of Reps & The Senate

The House of Reps in Australia is where your local representative goes and sits. It’s also where politicians say dumb stuff all the time.

Your local rep is the voice for your electorate (AKA: the area you live in).

They’re representing your people. Like if we were all rival gangs. Is this making sense? Who knows! This is that exact person sitting their butt on the seat.

You need to number EVERY box on the House of Reps ballot paper from one to whatever. So if there are nine names it needs to have one to nine.

On the other hand, The Senate is that big red room. In each election only about half the seats are contested.

The Senate has that huuuuuge long ballot paper. It’s so long that you could probably use it as a yoga mat. Remember now?

Above the line is where you vote for PARTIES. Below the line is where you vote for PEOPLE. Can’t decide which one to do? We’ve got you covered.

In short, voting below the line allows you to be thorough with which party policies you stand for by allowing you to vote for the specific people you want filling up those red seats and deciding shit.

To have an eligible vote you have to either:

  • Number at least six boxes above the line for the parties or groups of your choice, or
  • Number at least 12 boxes below the line for individual candidates of your choice.

So at least six numbers. One to six in the top row. Or at least 12 numbers, one to 12 in the bottom giant section. You can of course number as many boxes as you like, as long as it is more than the minimum number.

You can read more about the House of Reps and the Senate right here.

Federal Election Early Voting

You can vote early for various reasons listed here. For example: if you’re going away over the weekend, are a person with a disability or if you’re working during election day, early voting is for you.

If you meet the criteria to vote early, you can visit a pre-poll venue or early voting centre in your electorate and put in your vote. The AEC website will have all the pre-polling venues near you on their website when it’s election time.

If that option doesn’t quite suit your boots, you can always apply to vote via post! Yes, people still use letters these days. Hell, you might just have to!

Federal Election Postal Voting

Here’s how you can get your hands on a sweet, sweet postal vote.

First, you’re gonna have to apply for one. Remember you have to meet one of the criteria set out for early voting.

You can fetch yourself an application form either online or at your local AEC office.

Next, you need to fill out the form with your personal details. This will include the all-important security question (you know her well) that you must remember the answer to.

Once you send in your application form, you must wait for it to be approved by our friends at the AEC. If it is, you’ll be sent your ballots come election time. It is now up to you to return your vote via post in time.

You must also have someone nearby who will be your witness. This is basically someone who can confirm that it’s actually you who is filling out your postal vote.

All that’s left to do is to put your ballot papers in the envelope that AEC sent you and mail it back to them. Don’t worry about the cost either, AEC will pay for all return envelopes. They’re hot like that.

Can I vote online?

Unfortunately, you cannot. Filling out a postal vote or voting in person are your only options.

What if I don’t vote?

For this year’s federal election voting cycle, citizens of Australia who fail to submit a ballot will be forced to pay a $20 fine. If you fail to pay the fine, you might be referred to a court which isn’t a vibe at all.

Probably the most likely legal reason you wouldn’t vote is due to “physical obstruction, whether of sickness or outside prevention, or of natural events, or accident of any kind, would certainly be recognised by law in such a case,” as per the High Court of Australia.

So there you have it, folks!

That’s (pretty much) every detail you could hope to know regarding the date of the next federal election.

All that’s left to do now is enrol to vote and keep your eyes peeled for more of PEDESTRIAN.TV‘s spicy explainers.

Image: Getty Images / Tracey Nearmy