High Court of Australia

Palmer v Australian Electoral Commission [2019] HCA 24

14 Aug 2019

Case Number: B19/2019

Before

Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane, Nettle, Gordon, Edelman JJ

Catchwords

Parliamentary elections (Cth) – House of Representatives – Counting of votes – Where s 274(2A)-(2C) of Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) provides for indicative two-candidate preferred count in each Division – Where s 7(3) of Commonwealth Electoral Act confers power on Australian Electoral Commission to do all things necessary or convenient for or in connection with performance of its functions – Where practice of Australian Electoral Commission to publish information about indicative two-candidate preferred count for a Division after close of polls in that Division – Whether publication of information for a Division before polls closed in all parts of nation has any demonstrated effect on electoral choices – Whether information inaccurate or misleading – Whether publication constitutes imprimatur to any particular candidate or outcome – Whether publication authorised by s 7(3).

Constitutional law (Cth) – Parliament – Elections – Whether publication of information about indicative two-candidate preferred count prior to close of polls nationally contrary to ss 7 and 24 of Constitution – Whether factual foundation of challenge established.

Words and phrases – "direct and popular choice", "effect on electoral choices", "factual foundation", "imprimatur", "indicative two-candidate preferred count", "necessary or convenient", "partiality", "scrutiny of votes".

Constitution – ss 7, 24.

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Cth) – ss 7, 274.
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