List of political parties in Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The politics of Australia has a mild two-party system, with two dominant political groupings in the Australian political system, the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal/National Coalition. Federally, 17 of the 151 members of the lower house (Members of Parliament, or MPs) are not members of major parties, as are 17 of the 76 members of the upper house (senators).

The Parliament of Australia has a number of distinctive features including compulsory voting, with full-preference instant-runoff voting in single-member seats to elect the lower house, the Australian House of Representatives, and the use of the single transferable vote to elect the upper house, the Australian Senate.

Other parties tend to perform better in the upper houses of the various federal and state parliaments since these typically use a form of proportional representation, except for in Tasmania where the lower house is proportionally elected and the upper house is made up of single member districts.

History[edit]

Two political groups dominate the Australian political spectrum, forming a de facto two-party system. One is the Australian Labor Party (ALP), a centre-left party which is formally linked to the Australian labour movement. Formed in 1893, it has been a major party federally since 1901, and has been one of the two major parties since the 1910 federal election. The ALP is in government in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and the Federal Government of Australia.

The other group is a conservative grouping of parties that are in coalition at the federal level, as well as in New South Wales, but compete in Western Australia and South Australia. It is in government in Tasmania. The main party in this group is the centre-right Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is the modern form of a conservative group that has existed since the combination of the Protectionist Party and Free Trade Party into the Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909.[1][2] Although this group has changed its nomenclature, there has been a general continuity of MPs and structure between different forms of the party. Its modern form was founded by Robert Menzies in 1944.[1][3] The party's philosophy is generally liberal conservatism.

Every elected prime minister of Australia since 1910 has been a member of either the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, or one of the Liberal Party's previous incarnations (the Commonwealth Liberal Party, the Nationalist Party of Australia, and the United Australia Party).[4]

The Liberal Party is joined by the National Party, a party that represents rural and agricultural interests. The Nationals contest a limited number of seats and do not generally directly compete with the Liberal Party. Its ideology is generally more socially conservative than that of the Liberal Party. In 1987, the National Party made an abortive run for the office of prime minister in its own right, in the Joh for Canberra campaign. However, it has generally not aspired to become the majority party in the coalition, and it is generally understood that the prime minister of Australia will be a member of either the Labor or Liberal parties. On two occasions (involving Earle Page in 1939, and John McEwen from December 1967 to January 1968), the deputy prime minister, the leader of the National Party (then known as the Country Party), became the prime minister temporarily, upon the death of the incumbent prime minister. Arthur Fadden was the only other Country Party, prime minister. He assumed office in August 1941 after the resignation of Robert Menzies and served as prime minister until October of that year.

The Liberal and National parties have merged in Queensland and the Northern Territory/South Australia, although the resultant parties are different. The Liberal National Party of Queensland, formed in 2008, is a branch of the Liberal Party, but it is affiliated with the Nationals and members elected to federal parliament may sit as either Liberals or Nationals. The Country Liberal Party was formed in 1978 when the Northern Territory gained responsible government. It is a separate member of the federal coalition, but it is affiliated with the two major members and its president has voting rights in the National Party. The name refers to the older name of the National Party.

Federally, these parties are collectively known as the Coalition. The Coalition has existed continually (between the Nationals and their predecessors, and the Liberals and their predecessors) since 1923, with minor breaks in 1940, 1973, and 1987.

Historically, support for either the Coalition or the Labor Party was often viewed as being based on social class, with the upper and middle classes supporting the Coalition and the working class supporting Labor. This has been a less important factor since the 1970s and 1980s when the Labor Party gained a significant bloc of middle-class support and the Coalition gained a significant bloc of working-class support.[5]

The two-party duopoly has been relatively stable, with the two groupings (Labor and Coalition) gaining at least 70% of the primary vote in every election since 1910 (including the votes of autonomous state parties). Third parties have only rarely received more than 10% of the vote for the Australian House of Representatives in a federal election, such as the Australian Democrats in the 1990 election and the Australian Greens in 2010, 2016 , 2019 and 2022. Additionally, support for Independent politicians in Australia has resulted in major parties having to come to agreements to form government at times, including the 2010 Australian Federal Election.

Membership requirement[edit]

To maintain registration, parties must demonstrate that they have a certain number of members.

Federally, since 2022, unless a party has current parliamentary representation, they must demonstrate they have 1,500 members.[6][7]
For the state and territory elections, parties require 100 members in Tasmania and the ACT, 200 in South Australia and Northern Territory, 500 in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, and 750 in New South Wales.[7]

Membership requirement(s)
State/Level Requirement
Federal 1,500
New South Wales 750
Victoria 500
Queensland
Western Australia
South Australia 200
Northern Territory
Tasmania 100
Australian Capital Territory

Federal parties[edit]

Federal parliamentary parties[edit]

Party Members of the federal Parliament as of April 2023 Party leader Ideology
House of Reps Senate
Australian Labor Party
77 / 151
26 / 76
Anthony Albanese Social democracy, social liberalism
The Coalition Liberal Party
40 / 151
25 / 76
Peter Dutton Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
National Party
15 / 151
6 / 76
David Littleproud Conservatism, agrarianism
Australian Greens
4 / 151
11 / 76
Adam Bandt Green politics, left-wing populism
One Nation
0 / 151
2 / 76
Pauline Hanson Right-wing populism, Hansonism
Jacqui Lambie Network
0 / 151
2 / 76
Jacqui Lambie Populism, social conservatism
Centre Alliance
1 / 151
0 / 76
Social liberalism, populism
David Pocock[a]
0 / 151
1 / 76
David Pocock Environmentalism, progressivism[10]
Katter's Australian Party
1 / 151
0 / 76
Robbie Katter Social conservatism, developmentalism
United Australia Party[b]
0 / 151
1 / 76
Ralph Babet Right-wing populism
  1. ^ David Pocock was elected as a member of a political party also named "David Pocock," formed to allow him to appear as an above-the-line group on the Senate ballot.[8] He is listed as an independent by the parliamentary website;[9] however, the party remains registered, and the AEC lists David Pocock as a parliamentary party.
  2. ^ The United Australia Party was voluntarily deregistered on 8 September 2022.[11] However, Ralph Babet, the party's sole parliamentary representative, stated that the change was made for "administrative reasons," and he continues to represent the deregistered UAP in the Senate.[12]

Federal non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Parties listed in alphabetical order as of January 2024:[13]

Name Leader(s) Ideology / objective
Animal Justice Party Angela Pollard Animal protection, animal rights
Australian Christians Maryka Groenewald[14] Social conservatism, Christian right
Australian Citizens Party Craig Isherwood LaRouche movement, economic nationalism
Australian Democrats Lyn Allison Social liberalism, anti-corruption[15][16]
Australian Federation Party Glenn O'Rourke Agrarianism, conservatism
Dai Le & Frank Carbone Network No leader Western Sydney localism
FUSION Drew Wolfendale Secular humanism, techno-progressivism
Health Environment Accountability Rights Transparency Michael O'Neill[17] Anti-vaccination, anti-fluoridation
Indigenous-Aboriginal Party 'Uncle' Owen Whyman Indigenous rights, constitutional reform
Kim for Canberra Kim Rubenstein Progressivism[18]
Legalise Cannabis Australia Michael Balderstone Cannabis legalisation
Libertarian Party Paul Barker Classical liberalism, right-libertarianism
Reason Australia Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism, progressivism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Robert Brown Right-wing populism, green conservatism
Socialist Alliance Jacob Andrewartha
Sarah Hathway
Sam Wainwright
Eco-socialism, anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party Celeste Ackerly Environmentalism, sustainable development
The Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Right-wing populism, conspiracy theorism
Victorian Socialists Collective leadership Democratic socialism, anti-capitalism

State and territory parties[edit]

New South Wales[edit]

As of the New South Wales Electoral Commission:[19]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MPs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
45 / 93
15 / 42
Chris Minns Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Coalition Liberal Party
25 / 93
10 / 42
Mark Speakman Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
National Party
11 / 93
5 / 42
Dugald Saunders Conservatism, agrarianism
Australian Greens
3 / 93
4 / 42
No leader Green politics, progressivism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party
0 / 93
2 / 42
Robert Borsak Green conservatism, right-wing populism
Animal Justice Party
0 / 93
1 / 42
Emma Hurst Animal protection, animal rights
Legalise Cannabis Australia
0 / 93
1 / 42
Jeremy Buckingham Cannabis legalisation
Libertarian Party
0 / 93
1 / 42
John Ruddick Classical liberalism, right-libertarianism
One Nation
0 / 93
1 / 42
Tania Mihailuk Right-wing populism, Hansonism

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name[21] Leader Ideology
Elizabeth Farrelly Independents Elizabeth Farrelly
Informed Medical Options Party Michael O'Neill Anti-vaccination, anti-fluoridation
Public Education Party Cheryl McBride Civil libertarianism, progressivism
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism, anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party William Bourke Environmentalism, sustainable development
The Small Business Party Eddie Dogramaci Small business advocacy

Victoria[edit]

As of the Victorian Electoral Commission:[22]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
55 / 88
15 / 40
Jacinta Allan Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Coalition Liberal Party
19 / 88
11 / 40
John Pesutto Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
National Party
9 / 88
2 / 40
Peter Walsh Conservatism, agrarianism
Australian Greens
4 / 88
4 / 40
Samantha Ratnam Green politics, progressivism
Legalise Cannabis
0 / 88
2 / 40
Cannabis legalisation
Democratic Labour Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
Social conservatism, Christian democracy
Libertarian Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
David Limbrick Classical liberalism, right-libertarianism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
Jeff Bourman Green conservatism, right-wing populism
One Nation
0 / 88
1 / 40
Right-wing populism, Australian nationalism
Animal Justice Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
Georgie Purcell Animal protection, animal rights

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Companions and Pets Party John Hutchison Greyhound racing advocacy, horse racing advocacy[23]
Family First Party Tom Kenyon Christian politics, social conservatism
Freedom Party of Victoria Morgan Jonas Anti-lockdown politics, conservatism
Health Australia Party Andrew Hicks Naturopathy, anti-vaccination
Reason Party Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
Sustainable Australia Party Clifford Hayes Environmentalism, sustainable development
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism

Queensland[edit]

As of the Queensland Electoral Commission:[24]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MPs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
51 / 93
Steven Miles Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Liberal National Party
34 / 93
David Crisafulli Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
Katter's Australian Party
3 / 93
Robbie Katter Right-wing populism, developmentalism
Australian Greens
2 / 93
No leader Green politics, left-wing populism
One Nation
1 / 93
No state leader Right-wing populism, Australian nationalism

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal protection, animal rights
Informed Medical Options Party Anti-vaccination, anti-fluoridation
Legalise Cannabis Cannabis legalisation

Western Australia[edit]

As of the Western Australian Electoral Commission:[25]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
53 / 59
21 / 36
Roger Cook Social democracy,
social liberalism[20]
National Party
3 / 59
3 / 36
Shane Love Conservatism, agrarianism
Liberal Party
3 / 59
7 / 36
Libby Mettam Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
Legalise Cannabis
0 / 59
2 / 36
Sophia Moermond Cannabis legalisation
Australian Greens
0 / 59
1 / 36
Brad Pettitt Green politics

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Australian Christians Jamie van Burgel Conservatism, Christian right
Animal Justice Party Animal protection, animal rights

South Australia[edit]

As of the Electoral Commission of South Australia:[26]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MHAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
27 / 47
9 / 22
Peter Malinauskas Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Liberal Party
16 / 47
8 / 22
David Speirs Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
Australian Greens
0 / 47
2 / 22
Tammy Franks Green politics
One Nation
0 / 47
1 / 22
Jennifer Game Right-wing populism, Australian nationalism
Hansonism
SA-Best
0 / 47
1 / 22
Connie Bonaros Social liberalism

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal protection
Animal rights
Australian Family Party Bob Day Christian politics
Right-wing populism, conservatism
Child Protection Party Tony Tonkin Child protection advocacy
Family First Party Tom Kenyon Christian politics, social conservatism
Legalise Cannabis Damon Adams Cannabis legalisation
Libertarian Party Classical liberalism, right-libertarianism
National Party Jonathon Pietzsch Conservatism, agrarianism
Real Change SA Stephen Pallaras

Tasmania[edit]

As of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission:[27]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MHAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Liberal Party
10 / 25
4 / 15
Jeremy Rockliff Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
Australian Labor Party
9 / 25
4 / 15
Rebecca White Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Australian Greens
2 / 25
0 / 15
Cassy O'Connor Green politics

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal protection
Animal rights
Jacqui Lambie Network Jacqui Lambie Regionalism, veterans' rights
The Local Party
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Rebecca Byfield Green conservatism, right-wing populism

Australian Capital Territory[edit]

As listed with the ACT Electoral Commission:[28]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MLAs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
10 / 25
Andrew Barr Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Liberal Party
9 / 25
Elizabeth Lee Liberal conservatism, economic liberalism
Australian Greens
6 / 25
Shane Rattenbury Green politics

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal protection, animal rights
Australian Progressives Kerry Markoulli Progressivism
Belco Party Bill Stefaniak
David Pollard Independent David Pollard
Democratic Labour Party Christian democracy, distributism
Libertarian Party Classical liberalism, right-libertarianism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Green conservatism, right-wing populism
Sustainable Australia Party John Haydon Environmentalism,[29] sustainable development
The Community Action Party

Northern Territory[edit]

As of the Northern Territory Electoral Commission:[30]

Parliamentary parties[edit]

Name MLAs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
14 / 25
Eva Lawler Social democracy, social liberalism[20]
Country Liberal Party
7 / 25
Lia Finocchiaro Conservatism

Non-parliamentary parties[edit]

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal protection, animal rights
Australian Federation Party Australian nationalism, conservatism
Australian Greens No leader Green politics
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Green conservatism, right-wing populism

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Infosheet 22 - Political parties". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  2. ^ "The Sydney Morning Herald - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  3. ^ "Robert Menzies". National Archives of Australia.
  4. ^ "Australia's prime ministers".
  5. ^ "The Party Contest: Liberal vs. Labor". Oz Politics. Archived from the original on 28 September 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  6. ^ "Changes to federal election rules including party sizes and names pass Parliament". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 August 2021. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  7. ^ a b Green, Antony. "More on Minimum Membership Requirements for Registering Political Parties". Antony Green's Election Blog. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  8. ^ "Wallabies star scores above the line". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 April 2022. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Senator David Pocock". Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Wallabies great David Pocock turns to politics in post-rugby life". The Fiji Times. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  11. ^ "United Australia Party Voluntary Deregistration" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  12. ^ Butler, Josh (9 September 2022). "Clive Palmer's United Australia party deregistered but lone senator says he still represents it". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Current Register of Political Parties". Australian Electoral Commission. 22 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  14. ^ "Maryka Groenewald: A Portrait of Heartfelt Leadership". 9 November 2023. Retrieved 12 January 2024.
  15. ^ "National anti-corruption commission urgent". Australian Democrats. 20 October 2020.
  16. ^ "Rorts Watch". Australian Democrats.
  17. ^ "No jab, no vote: new anti-vax party registered". Crikey. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  18. ^ Johnson, Chris (18 May 2022). "Election 2022: What's going on in Canberra's senate race?". The Mandarin. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  19. ^ "State Register of Parties". elections.nsw.gov.au. 24 August 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h Sources:
  21. ^ "Information About Registered Parties". elections.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
  22. ^ "Currently registered parties". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  23. ^ "Upstart party takes on Animal Justice". Weekly Times Now. 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  24. ^ Queensland, Electoral Commission of (26 August 2022). "Registers". ecq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  25. ^ "Registered Political Parties in WA". Western Australian Electoral Commission. 29 August 2022. Archived from the original on 30 September 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  26. ^ "Register of political parties". Electoral Commission of South Australia. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  27. ^ "TEC Party Register". tec.tas.gov.au. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  28. ^ "Register of political parties". elections.act.gov.au. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
  29. ^ "Policy Platform – Sustainable Australia Party". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  30. ^ NTEC (3 August 2022). "Register of political parties in the Northern Territory". NTEC. Retrieved 29 August 2022.