Source(s): Australian Electoral Commission, Federal Election Reports
STANDING FOR OFFICE
Standing for public office is a form of political participation. The number of candidates who stand for public office can indicate both public interest and motivation in standing for election, as well as commitment from political parties in selecting and supporting candidates to stand in elections. However, it is not possible to gauge the diversity or quality of candidates from information on the number of candidates.
Between 1993 and 2007, the number of candidates standing for election at Australian federal elections increased. Over 1,400 candidates (1,013 men and 407 women) stood for election at the 2007 federal parliamentary election (1,054 for the House of Representatives, and 367 for the Senate), compared with around 1,200 in 1993. During this period the number of seats in the House of Representatives increased by three from 147 to 150, accounting for some of this change (AEC 2009).
There has also been an increase in the number of political parties supporting candidates in elections. In 2007, 46 political parties fielded candidates compared with 35 in 1993 (AEC 2009).
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