Calling a Vote of No Confidence in Australian Politics

By Nick Economou, Zareh Ghazarian

In the Australian parliament, a vote of no confidence occurs when a Member of Parliament (MP) — usually from the opposition and usually the opposition leader — moves that the business of the lower house be suspended to allow a vote on a question of confidence in the government. An opposition leader doesn’t normally call for a vote of no confidence unless he’s sure of winning the resulting vote.

If the vote is taken and a majority of members in the lower house vote for the motion, the government is deemed to have been defeated and the prime minister (or premier) is obliged to resign and advise the governor-general (or governor) to call on the opposition leader to see if he can form a government.