This background note provides a detailed account of the issues and dynamics of the 2012 election for the Queensland Legislative Assembly, along with a summary of its outcomes.
Elections for the Queensland Legislative Assembly are regulated by the Electoral Act 1992 and managed by the Electoral Commission Queensland. There are currently seven political parties formally registered at the state level to nominate candidates for election to the Assembly.
Queensland has a unicameral parliament with three year parliamentary terms. An election is announced usually towards the end of each term. However, there is no minimum period required between state elections, so a government can choose to hold the election at any time during its three year term. Under such an arrangement, voters do not know precisely when the next election will be held until it is announced. Queensland is divided into 89 electoral districts, and the state has used Optional Preferential Voting (OPV) since 1992. This voting system had earlier been used in Queensland—from 1892 to 1942—and was reintroduced on the recommendation of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission. An explanation of OPV, and a discussion of its impact on voter behaviour and electoral outcomes is also included.
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