Federal Election 101


This article aims to provide the basics for students who may not have experienced an election, those who want a refresher or simply feel overwhelmed by politics.

The upcoming Federal Election will be held on May 21st.


  • Election Terminology
  • Primary Parties and their Promises
    • The Coalition
    • Australian Labor Party
    • The Australian Green Party
  • Learning Who You Might Vote For
  • Candidates and Current Incumbents
    • Dawson
    • Herbert
    • Kennedy
    • Leichhardt
  • How to Vote and What to Expect

Election Terminology

ElectorateAustralia is divided into electorates, to group voters. Moreover, electorates change depending on the kind of election being held. For the Federal Election Australian parliament electoral districts are used. They can be found here.   For more information on electorates go here
IncumbentThe person currently holding a position.
AECAustralian Electoral Commission
Ballot PaperEach voter receives two ballot papers on the day they vote. The papers include the names of candidates and boxes in order for the voter to number at least six candidates in their preferred order. The white ballot paper is for the representatives in the voter’s state or territory in the Senate The green ballot paper is for the representatives in the voter’s local area or electorate in the House of Representatives.
In Queensland state elections you will receive one ballot paper, as Queensland has only one house
Coalition             OR
Liberal-National Coalition
A coalition is when two or more parties form a group of generally like-minded parties who agree not to run against one another and tend to vote together in parliament.

The liberal national coalition is an alliance of centre-right political parties that forms one of the two major parties grouping Australia (Liberal and Nationals). In Queensland, the Liberal National Party (LNP) is one party, following a merger of the two separate parties on the state level
IndAn independent or non-partisan politician. Meaning they are not affiliated with any political party.
ALPAustralian Labor Party
LNPLiberal National Party (The Queensland branch of the coalition)
LPALiberal Party of Australia
GreensAustralian Greens or The Greens
ONPOne Nation Party
UAPUnited Australia Party
KAPKatter’s Australian Party
GAPThe Great Australia Party
AJPAnimal Justice Party
IMOPInformed Medical Options Party
SASocialist Alliance
FPFusion Party Australia
Fusion: Science, Pirate, Secular, Climate Emergency
AFPAustralia First Party

Primary Parties and their Promises

The Coalition

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is the current leader of the Liberal Party and thus is the leader of the Coalition, traditionally under the coalition agreement, the Nationals leader takes on the role of deputy coalition leader and if applicable, Deputy Prime Minister.

Some of the LNP main policy points are:

Australian Labor Party

Anthony Albanese is the current leader of the Australian Labor Party.

The Labor party has an official 2022 plan  which includes:

  • Medicare by making it easier to see a doctor.
  • Creating secure local jobs  by investing in Fee-Free TAFE and more university places, and making your job more secure with better pay and conditions.

Australian Greens Party

Adam Bandt is the current leader of the Australian Greens Party.

In the 2022 federal election, they aspire to accomplish a variety of aims including to:

Learning Who You may Vote For

The vast array of political parties and policies can be overwhelming. ABC has a plethora of useful information  on various parties and the election that you can review as the election approaches.

In particular, ABC created a 2022 Vote Compass . It requires you to provide them with your postcode to then select your electorate.

The Vote Compass functions as a quiz and by the end, you will be able to see your preferences on a chart alongside the main political parties to know where you stand politically.

Candidates and Current Incumbents

Candidates vary depending on what electorate you are based in. They can be a part of a party such as the ones listed above, or they can be independent. You can find the candidates for your specific electorate by using this government search function. Below are the candidates listed for Dawson, Herbert, Kennedy and Leichardt.


This electorate includes portions of Townsville such as Annandale.

Figure 1. Dawson (link)

George Robert Christensen representing One Nation.

PartyCandidateCandidate Profile
ALPShane HamiltonWebsite Link.
LNPAndrew WillcoxWebsite Link.
GreensPaula CreenWebsite Link.
UAPChristian YoungWebsite Link.
One NationJulie HallWebsite Link.
GAPJim JacksonFacebook Link.
KAPCiaron PatersonWebsite Link.


This electorate includes portions of Townsville such as Douglas and the University.

Figure 2. Herbert (Link)

Philip Thompson representing LNP. They are running for the position again this upcoming election.

PartyCandidateCandidate Profile
ALPJohn RingWebsite Link
LNPPhillip ThompsonWebsite Link
GreensScott HumphreysWebsite Link
UAPGreg DowlingWebsite Link
One NationDiane Pepe 
GAPLarna BallardFacebook Link
IndSteven Clare 
IndAngela EganWebsite Link
KAPClynton HawksWebsite Link
AJPToni McCormackFacebook Link
IMOPToni McMahonWebsite Link


This electorate includes portions of Cairns.

Figure 3. Kennedy (link)

Hon Bob Katter representing KAP They are running for the position again this upcoming election.

PartyCandidateCandidate Profile
ALPJason BrandonWebsite Link
LNPBryce MacdonaldWebsite Link
GreensJennifer CoxWebsite Link
UAPPeter CampionWebsite Link
KAPBob KatterWebsite Link
IndJen Sackley  Website Link


This electorate includes portions of Cairns.

Figure 4. Leichhardt (link)

Hon Warren Entsch representing LNP. They are running for the position again this upcoming election.

PartyCandidateCandidate Profile
ALPElida FaithWebsite Link
LNPWarren EntschWebsite Link
GreensPhillip MusumeciWebsite Link
UAPDaniel HannagaWebsite Link
One NationGeena CourtWebsite Link
AJPSusanne BaylyFacebook Link
FPAdam CroppWebsite Link
KAPRod JensenWebsite Link
IMOPSilvia MogorovichWebsite Link
SAPat O’ShaneWebsite Link
AFPPaul Roe 

Preferential Voting

Preferential Voting is the voting system in Australia that allows voters to list the candidates they prefer in a list rather than only selecting one candidate.

On the green ballot paper, voters must number all boxes from most preferred to least prefred starting at #1 and go until all boxes are numbered 

On the white ballot paper votes must list from 1  (most preferred) to 6 (least preferred) if selecting candidates above the line, or from 1 (most preferred) to 12 (least preferred) if selecting candidates below the line.

Once the ballots are all submitted they are counted. All first choices (1) are counted. If any candidate has over 50% votes they win the position. If no candidate has over 50%, the candidate with the lowest percentage is eliminated. The vote counters then review all the voters who chose the eliminated candidate as their first (1) preference to see their second (2) preference. These results are then combined with the existing results to see if any candidate receives 50%.

This process continues until a candidate has over 50%.

This is why it is important to list all your preferences.

For more information on preferential voting, ABC has an informative piece.

How to Vote

Polling stations will be open 8 am to 6 pm on May 21st. Polling stations are usually located at local schools, churches and community halls, or public buildings. To find the nearest station to you, you can use the AEC search function

Pre-poll voting starts 12 days before voting day, on May 9. Voting is compulsory.

For further information, the Australian Electoral Commission provided the public with a 2022 federal election guide  that covers:

  • When you can vote
  • Voting Options
  • What happens at a polling place
  • How to make your vote count.

The guide also provides an example ballot paper with instructions.

This concludes the Federal Election 101 piece. If you have any questions you would like answered you are welcome to contact our editor. Their contact information can be found under About Us.

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