Overview

Candidates contesting a State election or by-election may be endorsed by a registered political party or nominated by six electors enrolled in the electoral district. Please click on the top navigational tabs to find out about the requirements for nominating as a candidate.

Recent legislative changes affecting candidates include:

  • the requirement for a dedicated campaign bank account for the election
  • new processes for candidates endorsed by political parties
  • caps on electoral expenditure that can be incurred during the capped expenditure period for the election
  • gifts and loans must be disclosed within 24 hours in the last week before election
  • increased record keeping obligations
  • disclosure of expenditure in election summary returns is separate to a claim for election funding (both must be completed)
  • restrictions on the display of election signage at polling places

info icon Please click on the top navigational tabs to find out more about candidates.

Nomination of a candidate

Candidate nominations for the State general election are now closed.

Nomination requirements

Independent candidate not endorsed by a registered political party

An independent candidate not endorsed by a registered political party may be nominated for the election by obtaining the signatures of six or more persons who are correctly enrolled in the electoral district the candidate is contesting.

Candidates endorsed by a registered political party

A candidate endorsed by a registered political party must be nominated by the registered political party.

Links to further information:

Appointing or changing agents (candidates)

Agents play an important role in elections as they are responsible for election funding and disclosure obligations on behalf of independent and endorsed candidates.

An independent or an endorsed candidate may choose to appoint an agent. If an independent candidate does not appoint an agent, the candidate is their own agent. Typically for endorsed candidates the political party may encourage appointment of an agent that is a member of the political party. The ECQ must be advised of the appointment of a replacement agent within 28 days of the ending of the previous agent’s appointment.

Transitional arrangements:
The appointment of an agent that is in place prior to 1 August 2020 will remain current after the new laws commence.

Links to further information:

Forms:

Notification of State campaign bank account (candidate)

State campaign bank accounts are required to ensure transparency of financial matters, including expenditure related to the State election or by-election. Candidates must notify the ECQ of their State campaign bank account details within 5 business days of becoming a participant in the election i.e. publicly announcing an intent to contest the election or first accepting a gift, or incurring expenditure, towards their election campaign.

Transitional arrangements 2020:
For the 2020 State general election, candidates or their appointed agent have 14 days from the commencement of the new legislation on 1 August 2020 to notify the ECQ of their dedicated campaign account details.

Links to further information:

Forms:

Receiving gifts and loans (candidates)

Candidates have obligations to disclose gifts and loans received.

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, and records must be kept for five years after any property disposal.

Note: Queensland law bans political donations from property developers and industry bodies with property developers as a majority of their members. A list of non-prohibited donors can be found at the register of non-prohibited donors.

Links to further information:

Incurring electoral expenditure (candidate)

A candidate’s expenditure designed to promote, oppose or influence the outcome of voting in an election, must remain within expenditure cap limits within the capped expenditure period.

Candidates endorsed by a registered political party can spend up to:

  • $58,000 in one electoral district, or
  • if the party has more than one candidate in one electoral district, $58,000 is to be divided by the number of endorsed candidates.

Note: In addition to an endorsed candidate’s expenditure cap, a registered political party can incur expenditure up to $92,000 per electoral district.

Independent candidates can spend up to $87,000 in one electoral district.

Transitional arrangements for 2020 State general elections

The capped expenditure period for the 2020 State general election starts on 1 August 2020 and ends at 6pm on 31 October 2020.

Electoral expenditure that is incurred to obtain goods that are first used for a campaign purpose during the 2020 State election capped expenditure period is not counted towards an election participant’s cap if a contract for supply of the goods was entered into before 17 June 2020.

Links to further information:

Electoral advertising (candidate)

There are specific requirements for registered political parties and candidates relating to electoral advertising and election material. Candidates must ensure that they are aware of all regulations relating to:

  • the broadcast and publication of electoral material
  • the authorisation of electoral material
  • the display of election signage at polling places, and
  • how-to-vote cards.

Links to further information:

Forms:

Lodging election summary returns (candidate)

All electoral participants have an obligation to lodge disclosure returns with the ECQ. As well as reporting gifts and loans in real-time (i.e. within 7 business days and 24 hours in the 7 days before election day), disclosure returns about gifts and loans and electoral expenditure are required to be lodged after the election.

Electoral expenditure is disclosed in the election summary return and must include a bank statement for the dedicated State campaign bank account. These returns must be lodged in the Electronic Disclosure System within 15 weeks after the election.

Transitional arrangements for 2020 State general election political party

The capped expenditure period for the 2020 State general election starts on 1 August 2020 and ends at 6pm on 31 October 2020.

Electoral expenditure that is incurred to obtain goods that are first used for a campaign purpose during the 2020 State election capped expenditure period is not counted towards an election participant’s cap if a contract for supply of the goods was entered into before 17 June 2020.

Links to further information:

Claiming election funding (candidate)

Candidates may claim election funding if they receive 6% of the formal first preference vote. Maximum entitlements are calculated as formal first preference votes multiplied by the relevant election funding amount, with consideration of expenditure.

Claims for election funding must be lodged with the ECQ within 20 weeks after the election.

Links to further information:

Forms: