Time period between election date and first sitting date

Parliament house flag post

Time period between election date and first sitting date

Posted 18/10/2013 by Sophia Fernandes

It is up to the government to decide when parliamentary sittings will commence following an election, provided that the first sitting day is no later than 30 days from the date of the return of the writs. The election timetable is governed by the Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. According to the timetable, the date of the return of the writs for the election is to be no longer than 100 days after it is issued, which is within 10 days after the election is announced.

 The 2013 Federal election was announced on Sunday 4 August 2013 and the writs were issued on Monday 5 August 2013. The latest date by which the writs must be returned is Wednesday 13 November 2013, and parliament must sit within 30 days of this date. The government announced that the first sitting day for the 44th Parliament will be on Tuesday 12 November 2013—in line with the custom of holding the opening of parliament on a Tuesday. The election timetable for the 2013 Federal election is available on the Australian Electoral Commission website. The library publication, Australian elections timetable, explains the rules governing various election scenarios.

Below is a sortable table of the time period between the election date and first sitting date since Federation. The shortest time period is 31 days in 1969 and the longest time period is 94 days after the 2001 election. There is no clear pattern between the election date and the first sitting date, with sittings, on average, commencing within 59 days of the election date. In the case of 2001, where there was a 94 day lapse, the election was held on the 10 November and the last writs were returned on 7 December 2001. As it was the Christmas period, parliament did not return until the customary first sittings of the year in February. It is important to note that factors such as common holiday periods do impact upon the date of the first sitting.

Election DateFirst sittingTotal DaysLength
30/03/19019/05/1901401 Month, 09 Days. 40 Days total.
16/12/19032/03/1904772 Months, 15 Days. 77 Days total.
12/12/190620/02/1907702 Months, 08 Days. 70 Days total.
13/04/19101/07/1910792 Months, 18 Days. 79 Days total.
31/05/19139/07/1913391 Month, 09 Days. 39 Days total.
5/09/19148/10/1914331 Month, 03 Days. 33 Days total.
5/05/191714/06/1917401 Month, 09 Days. 40 Days total.
13/12/191926/02/1920752 Months, 13 Days. 75 Days total.
16/12/192228/02/1923742 Months, 12 Days. 74 Days total.
14/11/192513/01/1926601 Month, 30 Days. 60 Days total.
17/11/19286/02/1929812 Months, 20 Days. 81 Days total.
12/10/192920/11/1929391 Month, 08 Days. 39 Days total.
19/12/193117/02/1932601 Month, 29 Days. 60 Days total.
15/09/193423/10/1934381 Month, 08 Days. 38 Days total.
23/10/193730/11/1937381 Month, 07 Days. 38 Days total.
21/09/194020/11/1940601 Month, 30 Days. 60 Days total.
21/08/194323/09/1943331 Month, 02 Days. 33 Days total.
28/09/19466/11/1946391 Month, 09 Days. 39 Days total.
10/12/194922/02/1950742 Months, 12 Days. 74 Days total.
28/04/195112/06/1951451 Month, 15 Days. 45 Days total.
29/05/19544/08/1954672 Months, 06 Days. 67 Days total.
10/12/195515/02/1956672 Months, 05 Days. 67 Days total.
22/11/195817/02/1959872 Months, 26 Days. 87 Days total.
9/12/196120/02/1962732 Months, 11 Days. 73 Days total.
30/11/196325/02/1964872 Months, 26 Days. 87 Days total.
26/11/196621/02/1967872 Months, 26 Days. 87 Days total.
25/10/196925/11/1969311 Month, 00 Days. 31 Days total.
2/12/197227/02/1973872 Months, 25 Days. 87 Days total.
18/05/19749/07/1974521 Month, 21 Days. 52 Days total.
13/12/197517/02/1976662 Months, 04 Days. 66 Days total.
10/12/197721/02/1978732 Months, 11 Days. 73 Days total.
18/10/198025/11/1980381 Month, 07 Days. 38 Days total.
5/03/198321/04/1983471 Month, 16 Days. 47 Days total.
1/12/198421/02/1985822 Months, 20 Days. 82 Days total.
11/07/198714/09/1987652 Months, 03 Days. 65 Days total.
24/03/19908/05/1990451 Month, 14 Days. 45 Days total.
13/03/19934/05/1993521 Month, 21 Days. 52 Days total.
2/03/199630/04/1996591 Month, 28 Days. 59 Days total.
3/10/199810/11/1998381 Month, 07 Days. 38 Days total.
10/11/200112/02/2002943 Months, 02 Days. 94 Days total.
9/10/200416/11/2004381 Month, 07 Days. 38 Days total.
24/11/200712/02/2008802 Months, 19 Days. 80 Days total.
21/08/201028/09/2010381 Month, 07 Days. 38 Days total.
7/09/201312/11/2013662 Months, 05 Days. 66 Days total.

Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print


Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice




refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment taxation Sport illicit drugs Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force welfare policy Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States higher education people trafficking school education aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA United Nations federal budget health financing emissions trading gambling Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations dental health National Disability Insurance Scheme forced labour Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service International Women's Day corruption Fair Work Act child protection people smuggling debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure ALP New Zealand Australian Crime Commission Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament slavery by-election political parties Census constitution High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Afghanistan Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs poker machines doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing paid parental leave European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing election timetable citizenship Productivity asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel violence against women domestic violence disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation family assistance expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets health reform Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration health system Australia Greens money laundering servitude Special Rapporteur Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship China; Economic policy; Southeast Asia; Africa housing Speaker; House of Representatives; Parliament Defence High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days baby bonus DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions

Show all
Show less
Back to top