State by-elections, supplementary elections and appointments


If a Lower House member of Parliament resigns or cannot complete their term, we hold a by-election to elect a new member of Parliament for that district.

Only the voters in that district are required to vote.

In a by-election, people can vote:

  • at a voting centre on election day
  • at an early voting centre
  • apply for a postal vote.

Registered general postal voters will be mailed a ballot pack and they do not need to apply for a postal vote.

Supplementary elections

If a Lower House election has failed, we hold a supplementary election. An election fails when:

  • any candidate passes away between the close of nominations and election day
  • the successful candidate passes away after election day and before being declared elected
  • no candidates nominate.

A new writ is issued for another election, but we use the electoral roll prepared for the original election. This provision is found in section 72 of the Electoral Act 2002.


If an Upper House member of Parliament resigns or cannot complete their term, they are replaced by their party.

The process is known as an appointment. The party nominates a new person to fill the position. That person is then appointed by a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.

Rules differ if the vacating member of Parliament was not a member of a party.