Australia

What actually happens when a candidate is dumped by their party?

0:00

A slew of candidates have been sacked, disendorsed or have resigned from various political parties as the 2019 election campaign rolls on - but some will continue to have their name and their party on the ballot paper.

The tally of candidates from the Liberal, Labor and One Nation parties who have been dumped or forced to resign grows as we get closer to election day - but voters are probably left wondering why they'll still see the same names when they head to the voting booth.

Luke Creasey resigned as the Labor candidate for Melbourne over offensive posts about women, while Jessica Whelan called it quits as a Liberal candidate for Lyons over anti-Muslim posts.

So, what happens when a candidate quits or is dumped by their party?
So, what happens when a candidate quits or is dumped by their party?
AAP

There’s also One Nation’s Steve Dickson, who was sensationally dumped after footage of him at an American strip club emerged, and Steve Killin, the former Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Wills, who resigned over homophobic comments about Liberal MP Tim Wilson.

0:00
What do voters think about disendorsed candidates?
What do voters think about disendorsed candidates?

But did you know  you can still vote for them and they can still technically be elected?

There’s a cut-off date at which point it’s too late for a candidate who’s been disendorsed or has resigned to be scrubbed off the ballot paper. That’s the close of nominations which was April 23, 2019. 

Labor's Melbourne candidate Luke Creasey and Liberal's Tasmania candidate Jessica Whelan.
Labor's Melbourne candidate Luke Creasey and Liberal's Tasmania candidate Jessica Whelan.
AAP

The Australian Electoral Commission says after this date, the candidate name and the party that endorsed their nomination will remain on the ballot paper.

So, it’s a case of “as you were” - at face value at least - and they can still be elected despite being sacked or stood down.

If they’re elected, they can still stand as an independent.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson speaks with the media, following the scandal involving Steve Dickson.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson speaks with the media, following the scandal involving Steve Dickson.
AAP

That’s what Pauline Hanson did in 1996 when she was dumped as the Liberal candidate for the seat of Oxley, and then sat as an independent when she was elected.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch