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.

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Nomination of a candidate

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.

What you need to do if you want to be a candidate

A nomination deposit of $250 must be paid by cash, bank cheque, credit card, or electronic funds transfer at the time of nomination. The deposit is refunded if:

  • the candidate is elected, or
  • the candidate receives more than four per cent of formal first preference votes.

Please read the Fact Sheet – Nomination process for State elections, and Candidate Handbooks 1 and 2, which outline responsibilities and requirements for anyone interested in becoming a candidate.

Once you are familiar with these requirements, go to the Self Service portal to login or register, or complete the following forms that are relevant to you:

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 candidates.

A candidate may choose to appoint an agent. If a 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.

Links to further information:

Forms:

Using a State campaign bank account (candidate)

State campaign bank accounts are required to ensure transparency of financial matters, including receiving political donations and incurring electoral expenditure. Candidates must notify the ECQ of their State campaign bank account details within five 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.)

All political donations must be deposited into a candidate’s State campaign account within five business days of receiving the donor statement. There are also restrictions about what other amounts can be placed into a candidate’s State campaign account.

All electoral expenditure for a State election must be paid for from the candidate’s State campaign account.

Links to further information:

Forms:

Disclosing gifts and loans (candidates)

Candidates have obligations to disclose gifts and loans received.

Gifts and loans of $1,000 or more, including cumulative amounts that total $1,000 or more from a single donor within a candidate’s disclosure period, must be disclosed to the ECQ, via the Electronic Disclosure System (EDS). Most of the information in a disclosure return is accessible by the public.

Generally, disclosure returns must be lodged within seven business days of the gift or loan being received. This is known as real-time disclosure. In the last seven days before election day, disclosures of gifts or loans received must be lodged within 24 hours.

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.

Note: Queensland law bans political donations from property developers and industry bodies with property developers as a majority of their members. The ECQ publishes a register of individuals and entities who, following an application, have been determined to be non-prohibited donors through a formal determination process. The register and application forms for a determination are available on the ECQ website at Prohibited donors scheme.

Links to further information:

Caps on political donations (candidates)

Queensland’s electoral laws impose limitations (caps) on the amount or value of political donations which can be made to, or received by, registered political parties or State election candidates.

Not all gifts or loans made to political parties or State election candidates are political donations. Caps only apply to political donations.

A political donation is any gift or loan given to a registered political party or State election candidate, that, within 14 days, is accompanied by a Donor Statement.

Between 1 July 2022 and 25 November 2024, donors must not make political donations of more than:

  • $6,000 to an independent candidate, or
  • $6,000 to candidates who endorsed by the same registered political party.

The caps will be adjusted after the 2024 State general election, and a new cap will apply from 26 November 2024 to 27 November 2028.

A political donation must not exceed the cap either by itself, or when added to other political donations made by the same donor during the same period.

Links to further information:

Incurring electoral expenditure (candidates)

State general election

The capped expenditure period for the 2024 State general election starts on Tuesday, 2 April 2024 and ends at 6pm on the polling day for the election.

During this period, candidates endorsed by a registered political party can incur up to:

  • $60,499.10, or
  • if the party has more than one candidate in one electoral district, $60,499.10 divided by the number of candidates endorsed by the party.

These amounts are in addition to expenditure which may be incurred by a registered political party.

Independent candidates can incur up to $90,748.65.

Any expenditure incurred before the capped expenditure period will still count towards the cap if the associated goods are first used for a campaign purpose during the capped period.

By-election

The capped expenditure period commences on the day the writ for the election is issued and ends at 6pm on the polling day for the election.

Any expenditure incurred before the capped expenditure period will still count towards the cap if the associated goods are first used for a campaign purpose during the capped period.

Independent and endorsed candidates can incur up to $90,748.65. Any expenditure incurred by a registered political party will count towards the cap of their endorsed candidate.

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)

Disclosure returns provide transparency for the movement of money used to support election participants in a State election. ​

In addition to reporting of gifts and loans in real-time, election summary returns, are required. The election summary return is a summary of electoral expenditure incurred for the purposes of an election and must include a bank statement of the candidate’s State campaign account. All other gifts/loans not disclosed in real-time must also be accounted for in the election summary return.

The return must be submitted within 15 weeks of the election.

Links to further information:

Claiming election funding (candidate)

Candidates may claim election funding if they receive 4% of the formal first preference vote. Maximum entitlements are calculated by multiplying the formal first preference votes by the relevant election funding amount.

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

Claims for election funding must itemise each item of electoral expenditure incurred for the election and include supporting documentation such as invoices, copies of advertisements, receipts, etc.

Candidates will only be paid the amount of electoral expenditure claimed (and accepted by the ECQ), or their maximum entitlements, whichever is lower.

Links to further information:

Forms: