Registration

Candidates, groups and third-party campaigners are required to register with the NSWEC for a State or Local Government election in NSW.

Only registered candidates (including a candidate who is a member of a group) and groups of candidates can accept political donations and make payments for electoral expenditure. Third-party campaigners must be registered before making payments for electoral communication expenditure, totalling more than $2,000 during the expenditure period for a State or Local Government election. Those registered for an election have their name and other details listed in publicly available registers kept by the NSWEC.

Registration applies for one election only. If a person wishes to contest multiple elections they must be registered separately for each election before accepting political donations or making payments for electoral expenditure for an election.

Candidates and Groups

Registration of a candidate or group is separate to a candidate or group being nominated which means being included on the ballot paper for an election. A candidate or group can be registered for an election before they are nominated. For more information about being nominated as a candidate for election see Nomination Process.

A group is two or more candidates who form a group for an election. For a Local Government election, a group of candidates is a group for a local government ward or local government area. For a State election, a group of candidates is a group for the Legislative Council election.

To register as a candidate or group of candidates for a State or Local Government election in NSW, the relevant application form must be completed and lodged with the NSWEC as follows:

The application for registration as a candidate or group must:

Registration for a State general election starts on polling day for the previous State election. For a State by-election, registration starts on the day the writ is issued.

Registration for a Local Government general election starts on polling day for the previous local government election. For a local government by-election, registration starts on the day the rolls close.

Candidates and groups do not need to apply for registration for an election if no political donations are received and no payments for electoral expenditure are made.

All nominated candidates and groups who have not applied to be registered for an election will be deemed registered on nomination day. This means that from nomination day, all candidates and groups can receive political donations and make payments for electoral expenditure. If, however, candidates and groups want to receive political donations and make payments for electoral expenditure prior to nomination day, they must apply for registration.

Third-party campaigners

Only registered third-party campaigners can make payments for more than $2,000 in electoral communication expenditure for State and local government elections.

Registration applies for one election only. A third-party campaigner must be registered for an election before incurring more than $2,000 in electoral communication expenditure during the capped expenditure period for a State or Local Government election.

To register as a third-party campaigner in NSW, complete and lodge an Application for Registration of a Third-Party Campaigner (PDF 587.9KB) form. The application for registration as a third-party campaigner must:

Registration for a State general election commences on 1 October in the year before the election. Registration for a State by-election commences when the writ is issued.

Registration for a Local Government general election commences on 1 July prior to the election. Registration for a local government by-election commences on the day the rolls close.

Political Parties

Political parties applying for registration under the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act 1912 must state if the party also seeks registration for the purposes of the Election Funding, Expenditure and Disclosures Act 1981. A party that chooses this additional option is eligible to receive public funding provided other criteria are met.