Hi! Could you please explain what a half-Senate election is and why this happens. Thanks for your time.

Thanks for taking the time to ask your question Luke. A half-Senate election is when only 40 of the 76 Senate seats are available for election (half the state Senate seats plus the 4 senators representing the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory). Half-Senate elections usually take place at the same time as House of Representations elections (ie at least every 3 years). 

In comparison, a full Senate election (all 76 seats) only occurs after both the Senate and the House of Representatives have been dissolved in a double dissolution.

The red Senate chamber. There are people sitting in seats which are arranged in a U-shape around a large central table.

The Senate from behind the President of the Senate's chair

David Foote/DPS Auspic

The Senate from behind the President of the Senate's chair

The red Senate chamber. There are people sitting in seats which are arranged in a U-shape around a large central table.

David Foote/DPS Auspic

Description

This image is of a large room with red furnishings. The seats are arranged in a horse-shoe shape around a large central table. There are people sitting in the seats and papers on the desks.