double dissolution

Definition
An Australian federal election with two exceptions to the normal general election. Rather than the usual 40 Senate seats being up for election (a so called half-Senate election), the full complement of 76 seats are vacated and thus the (state) quota to win a seat drops from 14.3% to 7.7%, thus making it easier for smaller parties to be successful. Secondly, both houses of Parliament are dissolved at the time of the election, rather than normal situation where the Senate only dissolves at the end of its set term, which can mean that it can be as much as eleven months after a normal election before the new Senators take their seats. The government can only call a DD election in specific situations as laid out by the Constitution.