"If we now have a minority government, why aren't we having an election?"

Hi Petra! As you know, government is formed in the House of Representatives by the political party or coalition of parties with the support of the majority of members of the House. If no party or coalition of parties has a majority of members, government can be formed with the support of Independent and/or minor party members. This type of government is known as a minority government.

As long as a government has the support of the majority of the House, it can continue to govern Australia. This happened from 2010 to 2013 when Australia had a minority government.

If a minority government lost the support of the majority of the House of Representatives, an election would not automatically be held.

Firstly, the government could negotiate with Independent and/or minor party members in order to secure a new majority.

If the government was unable to secure a majority, the Governor-General could approach the Leader of the Opposition to see if they were able to secure the support of the majority of the House. If the Leader of the Opposition is able to secure a majority, the Governor-General could appoint the opposition as the government.

If both the government and opposition did not have the support of the majority of members of the House, an election for the House of Representatives may then be held.

diagram to help explain If we now have a minority government, why aren't we having an election?