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Early election

6.62 As the Governor-General’s principal adviser, the Prime Minister may advise the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament and call an election (see paragraphs 2.4 and 2.6). Usually this advice will be timed in accordance with the electoral cycle.

6.63 In some circumstances, a Prime Minister may decide that it is desirable to advise the Governor-General to call an early election. In accordance with convention, the Governor-General will act on the advice as long as the government appears to have the confidence of the House and the Prime Minister maintains support as the leader of that government.

6.64 A Prime Minister whose government does not have the confidence of the House would be bound by the caretaker convention (see paragraphs 6.21 – 6.23). The Governor-General would expect a caretaker Prime Minister to consult other parties on any decision to advise the calling of an early election, as the decision is a significant one (see paragraph 6.25). It is the responsibility of the members of Parliament to resolve matters so that the Governor-General is not required to consider dissolving Parliament and calling an election without ministerial advice (see paragraph 1.18 on the reserve powers).

Last updated: 
Saturday, 24 June 2017

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