Palmer issues court action against AEC to keep lid on misleading election results until all polls close
The United Australia Party has launched a high court application against the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to stop the publishing of early theoretical election results in eastern states until the close of polls in all electoral divisions around Australia.
The court action has been instigated by United Australia Party Federal Leader Clive Palmer and United Australia Party federal candidates from Western Australia and the Northern Territory, who are most impacted by the current system.
“Because of the time differences across Australia, the current procedure improperly favours major parties,” Mr Palmer said.
“It creates an appearance that the AEC is biased by determining the two most likely candidates and can cause for misleading information to be delivered to voters while polls are still open across Australia,’’ he said.
“The United Australia Party believes the present method greatly infringes on voters’ free choice in an election and is not consistent with the maintenance of the constitutionally prescribed system of representative government.”
The United Australia Party is seeking to prohibit the AEC from making available to the public the identity of candidates it selects and not the voters as most likely to win a division until after 9pm (AEST), once the polls in all electoral divisions around Australia have closed.
“In 2013 the AEC was excluding the Palmer United Party vote in the seat of Fairfax in which I was standing,’’ Mr Palmer said.
“The early results didn’t have our vote in the calculations yet I went on to win the seat with a vote of 50.3%, the biggest swing in Australian history,’’ Mr Palmer said.