On Saturday November 11
, 2001, Australians
will go to the polls for the first time, federally, in three years. A general election
will be held for the lower house
, The House of Representatives
and 'half' of the upper house
, The Senate
. This will involve the election of 150 Members of the House of Representatives and forty Senators.
Due to the September 11 terrorist attacks and domestic issues such as illegal immigration, the current Government, comprising of a coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party, has been expected to win throughout the campaign. There is a general belief among political analysts that the status-quo is preferred in times of instability and uncertainty.
The chief campaigners are John Howard, the leader of the Liberal Party and current Prime Minister, and Kim Beazley, the leader of the Australian Labor Party and current Leader of the Opposition. To form Government, either the ALP or the Coalition will have to win 76 seats (or an absolute majority) of the seats in The House of Representatives. The leader of the Government there becomes the Prime Minister. The Senate, while important, will play no part in deciding the formation of the new Government.