List of political parties in Australia

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, 16 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

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 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. The main party in this group is the centre-right Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is the modern form of a conservative grouping that has existed since the fusion of the Protectionist Party and Free Trade Party into the Commonwealth Liberal Party in 1909. 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. 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).

The Liberal Party is joined by the National Party, a party that historically sought to represent rural and agricultural interests and now focuses on rural coal mining 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.[1]

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 and may contribute to the 2022 Australian Federal Election.

Membership requirement

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.[2][3] 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.[3]

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

Federal parliamentary parties

Party Members of the federal Parliament
as of July 2022
Party leader Ideology
House Senate
Australian Labor Party
77 / 151
26 / 76
Anthony Albanese Social democracy, Social liberalism
The Coalition
Liberal Party
42 / 151
26 / 76
Peter Dutton Liberal conservatism, Economic liberalism
National Party
15 / 151
6 / 76
David Littleproud Conservatism, Agrarianism
Australian Greens
4 / 151
12 / 76
Adam Bandt Green politics, Social democracy
One Nation
0 / 151
2 / 76
Pauline Hanson Right-wing populism, Hansonism
Jacqui Lambie Network
0 / 151
2 / 76
Jacqui Lambie Tasmanian regionalism, Populism
Centre Alliance
1 / 151
0 / 76
No leader Social liberalism, Populism
Katter's Australian Party
1 / 151
0 / 76
Robbie Katter Conservatism, Developmentalism
United Australia Party
0 / 151
1 / 76
Ralph Babet Nationalism, Right-wing populism

Federal non-parliamentary parties

Parties listed in alphabetical order as of December 2022:[4]

Name Leader Ideology / Objective
Animal Justice Party Angela Pollard Animal welfare
Australian Christians Ray Moran Social conservatism, Christian right
Australian Citizens Party Craig Isherwood LaRouche movement, Economic nationalism
Australian Democrats Lyn Allison Social liberalism, Anti-corruption[5][6]
Australian Federation Party Glenn O'Rourke Australian nationalism, Conservatism
Australian Values Party Heston Russell Veterans' rights, Populism
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Derryn Hinch Justice reform, Anti-paedophilia
Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance Drew Pavlou Left-wing populism, Anti-CCP sentiment
FUSION Andrea Leong Secular humanism, Techno-progressivism
Federal ICAC Now Federal ICAC advocacy, Anti-corruption
Indigenous Party 'Uncle' Owen Whyman Indigenous rights, Constitutional reform
Informed Medical Options Party Michael O'Neill[7] Anti-vaccination, Anti-fluoridation
Kim for Canberra Kim Rubenstein Progressivism[8]
Legalise Cannabis Australia Michael Balderstone Cannabis legalisation
Reason Australia Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism, Progressivism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Robert Brown Right-wing populism, Green conservatism
Socialist Alliance Ryan Fitzsimmons Eco-socialism, Anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party William Bourke Environmentalism, Sustainable development
TNL Victor Kline Social liberalism
The Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Right-wing populism, Conspiracy theorism
The Local Party No leader Tasmanian regionalism, Deliberative democracy
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism, Anti-capitalism
Voices For The Senate No leader
Western Australia Party Julie Matheson Western Australian regionalism

State and Territory parties

New South Wales

As of the New South Wales Electoral Commission:[9]

Parliamentary parties

Name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology
The Coalition
Liberal Party
33 / 93
11 / 42
Dominic Perrottet Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
National Party
12 / 93
6 / 42
Paul Toole Conservatism
Agrarianism
Australian Labor Party
36 / 93
14 / 42
Chris Minns Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Australian Greens
3 / 93
3 / 42
No leader Green politics
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party
0 / 93
2 / 42
Robert Borsak Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Animal Justice Party
0 / 93
2 / 42
Mark Pearson Animal welfare
One Nation
1 / 93
2 / 42
Mark Latham Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Hansonism

Non-parliamentary parties

Name[11] Leader Ideology
Informed Medical Options Party Michael O'Neill Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Legalise Cannabis Australia Cannabis legalisation
Liberal Democratic Party David Leyonhjelm Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Public Education Party Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party William Bourke Environmentalism
Sustainable development
Elizabeth Farrelly Independents Anti-lockout laws
Civil libertarianism
The Small Business Party Constentine Vithoulkas Small business advocacy

Victoria

As of the Victorian Electoral Commission:[12]

Parliamentary parties

Name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
56 / 88
15 / 40
Daniel Andrews Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
The Coalition
Liberal Party
18 / 88
12 / 40
Matthew Guy Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
National Party
9 / 88
2 / 40
Peter Walsh Conservatism
Agrarianism
Australian Greens
4 / 88
4 / 40
Samantha Ratnam Green politics
Legalise Cannabis
0 / 88
2 / 40
Cannabis Legalisation
Democratic Labour Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
Bernie Finn Social conservatism
Christian democracy
Liberal Democratic Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
Tim Quilty 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
Andy Meddick Animal rights


Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology
Angry Victorians Party Chris Burson Veterans' rights
Populism
Companions and Pets Party John Hutchison Right to companion animals
Right to pets
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Stuart Grimley Justice reform
Anti-paedophilia
Family First Party Tom Kenyon Christian politics
Freedom Party of Victoria Morgan Jonas Anti-lockdown politics
Conservatism
Health Australia Party Andrew Hicks Naturopathy
Anti-vaccination
Reason Party Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
Restore Democracy Sack Dan Andrews Party
Sustainable Australia Party Clifford Hayes Environmentalism
Sustainable development
Transport Matters Party Rod Barton Taxi industry advocacy
United Australia Party Ralph Babet Right-wing populism
Anti-lockdown politics
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism


Queensland

As of the Queensland Electoral Commission:[13]

Parliamentary parties

Name MPs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
52 / 93
Annastacia Palaszczuk Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
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

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal rights
Civil Liberties & Motorists Party Jeffrey Hodges Public ownership
Informed Medical Options Party Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Legalise Cannabis Cannabis legalisation

Western Australia

As of the Western Australian Electoral Commission:[14]

Parliamentary parties

Name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
53 / 59
22 / 36
Mark McGowan Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
National Party
4 / 59
3 / 36
Mia Davies Conservatism
Agrarianism
Liberal Party
2 / 59
7 / 36
David Honey Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Legalise Cannabis
0 / 59
2 / 36
Sophia Moermond Cannabis legalisation
Australian Greens
0 / 59
1 / 36
Brad Pettitt Green politics
Daylight Saving Party
0 / 59
1 / 36
Wilson Tucker Daylight saving advocacy

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology
Australian Christians Jamie van Burgel Conservatism
Christian right
Animal Justice Party Katrina Love Animal rights
Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Constitutional conspiracy
Right-wing populism
Health Australia Party Naturopathy
Anti-fluoridation
Liberal Democratic Party Aaron Stonehouse Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
No Mandatory Vaccination Party Cam Tinley Anti-mandatory vaccination
One Nation Colin Tincknell Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Rick Mazza Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Small Business Party Small business advocacy
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party John Haydon Environmentalism
Sustainable development
Western Australia Party Julie Matheson Regionalism
Populism

South Australia

As of the Electoral Commission of South Australia:[15]

Parliamentary parties

Name MHAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
27 / 47
9 / 22
Peter Malinauskas Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
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
2 / 22
Connie Bonaros Social liberalism

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Louise Pfeiffer Animal rights
Australian Family PartyBob DayChristian politics
Right-wing populism
Conservatism
Child Protection PartyTony TonkinChild protection advocacy
Family First PartyTom KenyonChristian politics
Legalise CannabisDamon AdamsCannabis legalisation
Liberal Democratic PartyClassical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
National Party Jonathon Pietzsch Conservatism
Agrarianism
Real Change SAStephen Pallaras

Tasmania

As of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission:[16]

Parliamentary parties

Name MHAs MLCs Leader Ideology
Liberal Party
13 / 25
4 / 15
Jeremy Rockliff Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Australian Labor Party
9 / 25
4 / 15
Rebecca White Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Australian Greens
2 / 25
0 / 15
Cassy O'Connor Green politics

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Karen Bevis Animal rights
Australian Federation Party Australian nationalism
Conservatism
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

As listed with the ACT Electoral Commission:[17]

Parliamentary parties

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

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal rights
Australian Federation Party Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Australian Progressives Kerry Markoulli Progressivism
Belco Party Bill Stefaniak
Climate Change Justice Party Environmentalism
David Pollard Independent David Pollard
Democratic Labour Party Christian democracy
Distributism
Liberal Democratic Party Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Sustainable Australia Party John Haydon Environmentalism[18]
Sustainable development
The Canberra Party
The Community Action Party

Northern Territory

As of the Northern Territory Electoral Commission:[19]

Parliamentary parties

Name MLAs Leader Ideology
Australian Labor Party
14 / 25
Natasha Fyles Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Country Liberal Party
7 / 25
Lia Finocchiaro Liberal conservatism
Agrarianism

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Animal welfare
Australian Federation Party Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Australian Greens No leader Green politics
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Green conservatism
Right-wing populism


See also

Notes

    References

    1. "OzPolitics.info". OzPolitics.info. Archived from the original on 28 September 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
    2. "Changes to federal election rules including party sizes and names pass Parliament". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
    3. Green, Antony. "More on Minimum Membership Requirements for Registering Political Parties". Antony Green's Election Blog. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
    4. "Current Register of Political Parties". Australian Electoral Commission. 22 August 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
    5. "National anti-corruption commission urgent". Australian Democrats. Australian Democrats. 20 October 2020.
    6. "Rorts Watch". Australian Democrats. Australian Democrats.
    7. "No jab, no vote: new anti-vax party registered". Crikey. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
    8. Johnson, Chris (18 May 2022). "Election 2022: What's going on in Canberra's senate race?". The Mandarin. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
    9. "State Register of Parties". www.elections.nsw.gov.au. 24 August 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
    10. Sources:
      • Judith Brett (1994). "Ideology". In Judith Brett; James A. Gillespie; Murray Goot (eds.). Developments in Australian Politics. Macmillan Education AU. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7329-2009-8.
      • Gwenda Tavan (2005). The Long, Slow Death of White Australia. Scribe Publications. p. 193.
      • Huo, Jingjing (2009). Third Way Reforms: Social Democracy After the Golden Age. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-521-51843-7.
      • Leigh, Andrew (29 June 2019). "Social liberalism fits Labor". The Saturday Paper. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
    11. "Information About Registered Parties". www.elections.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 27 June 2022.
    12. "Currently registered parties". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
    13. Queensland, Electoral Commission of (26 August 2022). "Registers". www.ecq.qld.gov.au. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
    14. "Registered Political Parties in WA". Western Australian Electoral Commission. 29 August 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
    15. "Register of political parties". Electoral Commission of South Australia. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
    16. "TEC Party Register". www.tec.tas.gov.au. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
    17. "Register of political parties". www.elections.act.gov.au. 14 April 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
    18. "Policy Platform - Sustainable Australia Party". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
    19. NTEC (3 August 2022). "Register of political parties in the Northern Territory". NTEC. Retrieved 29 August 2022.
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