Australia, Western Australia State Elections: March 13, 2021 and New South Wales Local Elections: September 2021 (due)

Democracy sausages being grilled during Queensland’s 2017 elections. Photo credit: Wikipedia/Kerry Raymond (CC BY 4.0)

Freedom House Rating

Government Type
Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy (a Commonwealth realm)
25.5 million
Western Australia State Elections
March 13, 2021
New South Wales Local Elections
September 2021 (due)
Parliamentary Elections
Federal Parliamentary Elections
On or before September 3, 2022
Australian Capital Territory State Elections
October 17, 2020
Queensland State Elections
October 31, 2020
Northern Territory State Elections
August 22, 2020
Federal Parliamentary Elections

May 18, 2019
New South Wales State Elections
March 23, 2019

Several Australian states hold elections in 2021. Western Australia holds state elections on March 13, 2021, and New South Wales is due to hold local elections in September 2021. After that, federal parliamentary elections are due by 2022, but snap elections could happen.

Australia has several states, each of which elects its own state legislature and has its own state government that has significant devolved powers. The state government is the middle level of government, sitting between the federal government and local governments. Elections for state and local governments take place at various times throughout the year, and by law not on the same day as federal elections.

Political Context

Australia is a democracy that holds regular elections for all three levels of government (federal, state, and local), with regular transitions of power between different political parties. Voting is compulsory.

Australia’s two biggest parties are the center-right Liberal Party and center-left Labor Party (sometimes referred to as ALP). The Liberals pulled out a surprise victory in the May 2019 federal elections, even though pre-election polling had consistently predicted a Labor victory. Scott Morrison thus remained prime minister, and the coalition government with the agrarian center-right National Party continued.

Western Australia Elections: March 13, 2021

Labor is strong in Western Australia, currently holding 40 out of 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, following the last state elections in 2017. Polls suggest that Labor’s support in the state has increased ahead of these elections.

Curated News and Analysis

Adran Beaumont, The Conversation (February 21, 2021): Whopping lead for Labor ahead of WA election, but federal Newspoll deadlocked at 50-50

James Massola and Michael Koziol, Sydney Morning Herald (January 24, 2021): ‘He has sent signals’: Major parties prepare for spring 2021 federal election

Peter van Onselen, The Australian (August 11, 2020): Queensland election 2020: State poll a test of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s popularity

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Updated February 26, 2021

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