"What happens when a member of parliament loses their seat?"

Hi Alison, thank you for sending your question in.

When a member loses their seat in a federal election they are no longer a member of the House of Representatives from the date of the election. State senators who lose their seat in a regular election continue in their role until the next 30 June. Newly elected senators start their role on 1 July. Territory senators who lose their seat stop being a member of parliament on the date of the election.

Upon losing their seat, departing members move out of their office at Parliament House and return to everyday life. Some departing members chose to return to jobs they held before being elected to Parliament, while others may start a new career. Examples of new career paths former members and senators have taken include chancellor and vice-chancellor of universities, chairperson of a non-profit organisation and working in private business.

It is important to note that if a member of parliament loses their seat they do not automatically cease to belong to a political party. They may wish to stay active in their party and contest a seat in a future election.

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