State government election participants

State election participants

This page is designed to help identify your role in the election.

Under section 197A of the Electoral Act 1992, the meaning of a ‘participant’ in an election means:

  1. a candidate in the election
  1. a registered political party
  1. a registered third party for the election, or
  1. a third party that is not registered for the election but incurs electoral expenditure for the election.

If your only role in this election is to vote, please return to the homepage.

If you already know your role in the upcoming election, select the relevant button below.  Or you can follow the ‘Self-assessment: Who am I?’ link.

This link is designed to help you identify your role in the election.

Election participants

Image representing registered political parties

Registered political parties

Political parties must meet a range of requirements to be registered in Queensland. Registered political parties must adhere to regulations and reporting obligations in relation to gifts, loans and expenditure incurred on electoral campaigns. The ECQ publishes the Queensland register of political parties PDF (0.67 MB).  

Associated entities of registered political parties also have a range of obligations under the Electoral Act 1992.

Handbook for Registered Political Parties and associated entities PDF (3.68 MB)

This section explains the process and responsibilities associated with registered political parties:

  • Registration
  • Appointing or changing political party agents
  • Notification of state campaign bank account
  • Receiving gifts and loans
  • Incurring electoral expenditure
  • Preselection and Endorsement of a candidate
  • Nomination of candidate
  • Electoral advertising
  • Lodging election summary returns
  • Lodging periodic returns
  • Claiming election funding

Registered political parties

Image representing a candidate


A candidate in a State election or by-election can be:

  • endorsed by a registered political party, or
  • can contest the election as an independent candidate, if nominated by six electors who are enrolled in the electoral district.

A person will be a candidate for a State election if they are:

  • an individual who has announced, or otherwise publicly indicated, their intention to be a candidate in the election, or
  • an individual who has otherwise indicated their intention to be a candidate in the election by accepting a gift for an electoral purpose of incurring electoral expenditure towards their campaign.

Handbook for Candidates for State elections and by-elections PDF (0.93 MB)
Handbook for election and disclosure obligations for State election Candidates PDF (3.65 MB)

This section explains the process and responsibilities associated with candidates:

  • Nomination of a candidate
  • Appointing or changing agents
  • Notification of state campaign bank account
  • Receiving gifts and loans
  • Incurring electoral expenditure
  • Electoral advertising
  • Lodging election summary return
  • Claiming election funding


Image representing third parties

Third parties/ Donors

A third party can be an individual or an entity, based in or outside Queensland, who:

  • makes donations or incurs electoral expenditure in support of candidates or political parties contesting a Queensland State election, or
  • enables another third party to support an election campaign.

All third parties have disclosure obligations. Third parties who incur $6,000 or more in electoral expenditure are required to formally register with the ECQ and maintain a dedicated State campaign bank account.

An unregistered third party is an individual or entity that has incurred electoral expenditure for a State election but has not formally registered with the ECQ.  Unregistered third parties do not have an obligation to register with the ECQ until they incur $6000 (cumulative total) in electoral expenditure towards a State election during the capped expenditure period.

For the 2020 State general election, the capped expenditure period is 1 August – 31 October 2020.

Handbook for Donors PDF (1.54 MB)
Handbook for Third Parties PDF (2.81 MB)

This section explains the process and responsibilities associated with third parties:

  • Registration
  • Appointing or changing agents
  • Notification of state campaign bank account
  • Disclosing gifts and loans
  • Incurring electoral expenditure
  • Political donation caps
  • Lodging election summary return
  • Cancelling the registration of a third party

Third party self assessment tool

Third parties/ Donors

Associated entities icon

Associated entities

An associated entity of a registered political party is an entity which is:

  • controlled by a registered political party or a group of endorsed candidates, or
  • operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit or dominant purpose of promoting the party in elections, or
  • promotes a group of endorsed candidates of a political party in an election. ​

An associated entity of a candidate an entity which is:

  • controlled by a candidate in relation to the election, or
  • operates wholly, or to a significant extent, for the benefit of the candidate in relation to the election, or
  • operates for the dominant purpose of promoting the candidate in the election.

Handbook for Registered Political Parties and associated entities PDF (3.68 MB)

This section explains the process and responsibilities associated with associated entities:

  • Receiving gifts and loans
  • Incurring electoral expenditure
  • Lodging election summary return
  • Lodging periodic returns

Associated entities

Broadcasters and Publisher icon

Broadcasters/ Publishers

Broadcasters and publishers are required to lodge an election summary return with the ECQ after a State election if they have broadcast or published political advertisements relating to an election during the election’s capped expenditure period. This applies to broadcasters and publishers located both in and outside Queensland.

Handbook for election and disclosure obligations for broadcasters and publishers for State elections PDF (0.3 MB)

Broadcasters/ Publishers

Note:  All records relating to an election campaign must be kept for five years after the day that the record is made and are subject to audit procedures and compliance activities conducted by the ECQ. There are substantial penalties for not complying with record keeping responsibilities and obligations. It is important to keep records of all political donations of gifts, loans, or other property, for five years after any property disposal.  Additional information can be obtained in the links below. ​