Double dissolution

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A double dissolution is when both houses of parliament in a bicameral system of government are "dissolved", or shut done before their term expires, and a fresh election called.

A double dissolution is a way of resolving a deadlock between the two houses of parliament.


In Australia, a double dissolution can only be performed by the Governor General, although he normally only acts on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Australia's Federal Government has had six double dissolutions. On three occasions (1951, 1974, and 1987), the government was returned at the subsequent election. In 1914 and 1983, the government was defeated. In 1985, the caretaker government was returned.