There are certain criteria that must be met for candidates wishing to nominate for a position within Western Australia’s State Parliament. The Eligibility Guide for Membership of State Parliament outlines this criteria.
Qualifications for membership of State Parliament
To be eligible to take up a seat in the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council, the following qualifications apply:
- the candidate must have resided in Western Australia for at least one year
- the candidate must have reached the age of 18
- the candidate must not be subject to any legal incapacity
- the candidate must be an elector entitled to vote at an election of a member of the Legislative Assembly
- the candidate must be an Australian citizen.
Disqualifications for membership of State Parliament
If any one of the following circumstances exists, the candidate will be disqualified from taking up a seat in either House of State Parliament:
- the candidate is an undischarged bankrupt, or debtor against whose estate there is a subsisting receiving order in bankruptcy
- the candidate has been convicted on indictment of an offence for which the indictable penalty was or included imprisonment for more than 5 years or life
- the candidate has been attainted of treason
- the candidate is serving or is yet to serve a sentence or sentences of detention (imposed under the Young Offenders Act 1994 or the Child Welfare Act 1947), or imprisonment
- the candidate is serving or yet to serve indefinite imprisonment imposed under Part 14 of the Sentencing Act 1995
- the candidate is subject to an order under s279(5)(b) of the Criminal Code
- the candidate is subject to an order under s19(6a)(a), 661 or 662 of the Criminal Code (these sections have been repealed)
- the candidate is, or taken to be, a mentally impaired accused as defined in Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996
- the candidate holds a senior public office specified in Part 1 of Schedule V of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899
- the candidate is a member of the Commonwealth, a Territory or another State Parliament
- the candidate is a member of the other House of Western Australia's Parliament
- The candidate holds an office or place in service of the Crown of the Commonwealth or another state, or in service of the government, any government department or agency of the Commonwealth or a Territory or another state, and that office or place has not been exempted under section 36 of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899
- the candidate holds an office as a member of any commission, council, board, committee, authority, trust or other body, appointed as such a member by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth or another State of the Commonwealth, or by the government of, or any department or agency of the government of, the Commonwealth or a Territory or another State of the Commonwealth and that office or place has not been exempted under section 36 of Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899
- the candidate is a holder of any office or place specified in Part 2 of Schedule V of the Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 (not being an office also specified in Part 1 of Schedule V of the Act) and does not vacate the office or place upon his or her election to State Parliament (includes State Police, Teachers, Public Servants and others)
- the candidate is a member of any commission, council, board, committee, authority, trust or other body specified in Part 3 of Schedule V and does not vacate the office or place upon his or her election to State Parliament
- the candidate is of unsound mind
- the candidate is the holder of a temporary entry permit for the purposes of the Migration Act 1958, of the Parliament of the Commonwealth as amended from time to time, or is a prohibited immigrant under that Act.
Note: Holders of dual citizenship are not disqualified if they are otherwise qualified.
To nominate in the Legislative Assembly, you must give a written nomination and a deposit of $250.00 to the Electoral Commission or Returning Officer for the district.
The nominations form, Declaration in support of a nomination and spreadsheet template for aggregating membership details can be downloaded from the commission website or obtained by contacting the Returning Officer.
Returning Officers can receive nominations at any time after the issue of the writ for the election until 12 noon on the day nominations close.
The deposit is returned after the election if the candidate or group gains more than 4% of the total valid first preference votes in an election or if the candidate passes away before 6:00pm on polling day.
When a deposit is not returned, it is forfeited. A candidate may withdraw a nomination up to the hour of nomination, but forfeits the deposit.
Changes to candidate Nominations in the Legislative Council:
Candidates in a Legislative Council election are required to pay a $2,000 deposit (previously $250)
For groups, the deposit payable is capped at $10,000 for groups of more than 5 candidates.
Each unendorsed (non-party) candidate must submit declarations in support of their nomination by at least 250 electors entitled to vote at the election.
There is no change to eligibility for refund of a deposit payable for nomination - the deposit is refundable if the candidate is elected or either the candidate or their group achieves at least 4% of the primary vote.
For candidates nominating directly with the Returning Officer:
For candidates endorsed by a registered political party:
Legislative Council group candidates
Two or more candidates for an election in the Legislative Council, may request, in writing, to have their names included in a group on the ballot paper. Candidates need to complete the RO20 Supplementary Nomination Details for Candidates and Groups form - Legislative Council.
Candidates endorsed by a registered political party
Candidates endorsed by a registered political party may have their nominations submitted in a centralised nomination process with the Commission.
Names on ballot papers
The candidate's full surname must appear on the ballot paper. The ballot paper name may also include a given name, initials, or a commonly accepted variation of the given name. Candidates must apply to the Returning Officer at or before the hour of nomination if they want to have the name of a registered political party or the word "Independent" printed next to their name.
Ballot paper draws
The order of names on the ballot paper is decided by a draw. The Returning Officer places the names of all candidates in opaque spheres after the close of nominations and seals them in a ballot box. The order in which the names are drawn from the box is the order in which they will appear on the ballot paper.
The draw for ballot paper positions occurs as soon as practicable following the close of nominations at the Place of Declaration of Nominations.
For the Legislative Council the draw occurs in three stages. Political parties are drawn first, then groups and finally Independant candidates.
Public employees standing for election
State public sector employees may nominate but must take leave of absence for the election period commencing on the first working day after nomination.
The Electoral Regulations authorise public employees to apply for and take leave and public employers to grant leave for this period.
A State employee may be required to resign, by other legislation, before nominating for election. Subject to some conditions, a State employee may be entitled to re-enter public sector employment should they not be elected.
Affected employees may need to discuss their circumstances with their employer or the Public Sector Commission.