Has Australia ever had a referendum at the same time as a federal election?
Glad you asked – yes!
Since 1901 there have been 19 referendums, proposing 44 changes to the Australian Constitution; only 8 changes have been agreed to. Of these 19 referendums, 8 occurred at the same time as a federal election. These dates are:
- 12 December 1906
- 13 April 1910
- 31 May 1913
- 13 December 1919
- 17 November 1928
- 28 September 1946
- 18 May 1974
- 1 December 1984
It is up to the Australian Government to choose the topic and timing of a referendum, although they will need to follow the requirements of Section 128 of the Constitution.
People line up outside a polling station on referendum day, Brisbane, 1899.
State Library of Queensland, Image No. 109589
A black and white photograph of a group of men, women and children (and a dog) gathered around the entrance of a low building. A sign reads 'Polling Booth Brisbane North'.