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

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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, and the Australian Capital Territory.

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, unless a party has current parliamentary representation, they must demonstrate they have 1500 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]

Federal parties

Federal parliamentary parties

Party Abbreviated name Members of the federal Parliament
as of July 2022
Party leader Ideology
House Senate
Australian Labor Party (ALP) A.L.P
77 / 151
26 / 76
Anthony Albanese Social democracy
Social liberalism
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia Liberal
48 / 151
26 / 76
Peter Dutton Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
National Party of Australia The Nationals
15 / 151
6 / 76
David Littleproud Conservatism
Agrarianism
Australian Greens The Greens
4 / 151
12 / 76
Adam Bandt Green politics
Social democracy
Pauline Hanson's One Nation One Nation
0 / 151
2 / 76
Pauline Hanson Right-wing populism
Hansonism
Jacqui Lambie Network JLN
0 / 151
2 / 76
Jacqui Lambie Tasmanian regionalism
Populism
Centre Alliance Centre Alliance
1 / 151
0 / 76
No leader Social liberalism
Populism
Katter's Australian Party (KAP) KAP
1 / 151
0 / 76
Robbie Katter Conservatism
Developmentalism
David Pocock David Pocock
0 / 151
1 / 76
David Pocock Environmentalism

Federal non-parliamentary parties

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

Name Abbreviated name Leader Ideology / Objective
Animal Justice Party AJP Bruce Poon Animal welfare
Australian Christians Ray Moran Social conservatism
Christian right
Australian Citizens Party Citizens Party Craig Isherwood LaRouche movement
Economic nationalism
Australian Democrats Lyn Allison Social liberalism
Anti-corruption[5][6]
Australian Federation Party Federation Party Glenn O'Rourke Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Australian Progressives The Progressives Therese Faulkner Progressivism
Australian Values Party AVP Heston Russell Veterans' rights
Populism
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Hinch Derryn Hinch Justice reform
Anti-paedophilia
Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance Democratic Alliance Drew Pavlou Left-wing populism
Pro-Taiwan sentiment
FUSION: Science, Pirate, Secular, Climate Emergency FUSION Andrea Leong Secular humanism
Techno-progressivism
Federal ICAC Now FIN Federal ICAC advocacy
Anti-corruption
Indigenous - Aboriginal Party of Australia Indigenous Party of Australia '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 Legalise Michael Balderstone Cannabis legalisation
Reason Australia Reason Australia Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Rex Patrick Team REX Rex Patrick South Australian regionalism
Anti-corruption
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Robert Brown Right-wing populism
Green conservatism
Socialist Alliance Ryan Fitzsimmons Eco-socialism
Anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption Sustainable Australia Party William Bourke Environmentalism
TNL Victor Kline Social liberalism
The Great Australian Party GAP Rod Culleton Right-wing populism
Conspiracy theorism
The Local Party of Australia The Local Party No leader Left-wing populism
Participatory democracy
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism
Anti-capitalism
Voices For The Senate VOICES4SENATE No leader
WESTERN AUSTRALIA PARTY WESTERN AUSTRALIA PARTY Julie Matheson Regionalism


State and Territory parties

See also: Parliaments of the Australian states and territories § Current compositions

New South Wales

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

Parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology Has federal division
The Coalition
The Liberal Party of Australia, New South Wales Division Liberal
33 / 93
11 / 42
Dominic Perrottet Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
National Party of Australia - NSW The Nationals
12 / 93
6 / 42
Paul Toole Conservatism
Agrarianism
Yes
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) Labor
37 / 93
14 / 42
Chris Minns Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
The Greens NSW The Greens
3 / 93
3 / 42
No leader Green politics Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (NSW) Incorporated Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
2 / 93
2 / 42
Robert Brown Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes
Animal Justice Party AJP
0 / 93
2 / 42
Mark Pearson Animal rights Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation One Nation
0 / 93
2 / 42
Mark Latham Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Hansonism
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name[11] Abbreviated name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Informed Medical Options Party (IMOP) Michael O'Neill Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Yes
Legalise Cannabis NSW Party Legalise Cannabis Party Cannabis legalisation Yes
Liberal Democratic Party Liberal Democrats David Leyonhjelm Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
No
Reason Party NSW Reason NSW Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Yes
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Yes
Sustainable Australia Party – Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption Sustainable Australia Party William Bourke Environmentalism
Sustainable development
Yes
The Open Party Open Anti-lockout laws
Civil libertarianism
No
The Small Business Party SBP Constentine Vithoulkas Small business advocacy No

Victoria

As of the Victorian Electoral Commission:[12]

Parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Labor Party - Victorian Branch Australian Labor Party
55 / 88
17 / 40
Daniel Andrews Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia – Victorian Division Liberal
21 / 88
9 / 40
Matthew Guy Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
National Party of Australia – Victoria The Nationals
6 / 88
1 / 40
Peter Walsh Conservatism
Agrarianism
Yes
The Australian Greens - Victoria Australian Greens
3 / 88
1 / 40
Samantha Ratnam Green politics Yes
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party
0 / 88
2 / 40
Stuart Grimley Justice reform
Anti-paedophilia
Yes
Liberal Democratic Party Liberal Democrats
0 / 88
2 / 40
Tim Quilty Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
No
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Victoria Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Vic
0 / 88
1 / 40
Jeff Bourman Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes
Fiona Patten's Reason Party Reason
0 / 88
1 / 40
Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism Yes
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment/Corruption Sustainable Australia Party
0 / 88
1 / 40
Clifford Hayes Environmentalism
Sustainable development
Yes
Animal Justice Party AJP
0 / 88
1 / 40
Andy Meddick Animal rights Yes
Transport Matters Party Transport Matters
0 / 88
1 / 40
Rod Barton Taxi industry advocacy No
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Labour DLP
0 / 88
1 / 40
Bernie Finn Social conservatism
Christian democracy
No

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Health Australia Party HAP Kerry Bone Naturopathy
Anti-vaccination
No
Pauline Hanson's One Nation PHON No leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Yes
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism Yes
Victorians Party Oscar Yildiz No

Queensland

As of the Queensland Electoral Commission:[13]

Parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name MPs Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (State of Queensland) Australian Labor Party
52 / 93
Annastacia Palaszczuk Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
Liberal National Party of Queensland LNP
34 / 93
David Crisafulli Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) KAP
3 / 93
Robbie Katter Right-wing populism
Developmentalism
Yes
Queensland Greens The Greens
2 / 93
No leader Green politics
Left-wing populism
Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Queensland Division Pauline Hanson's One Nation
1 / 93
No state leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party (Queensland) Animal Justice Party Animal rights Yes
Civil Liberties & Motorists Party Jeffrey Hodges Public ownership No
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (QLD) Andrew Pope Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes
Informed Medical Options Party (IMOP) Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Yes
Legalise Cannabis Qld (Party) Cannabis legalisation Yes

Western Australia

As of the Western Australian Electoral Commission:[14]

Parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name MLAs MLCs Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (Western Australian Branch) WA Labor
53 / 59
22 / 36
Mark McGowan Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
National Party of Australia (WA) Inc THE NATIONALS
4 / 59
3 / 36
Mia Davies Conservatism
Agrarianism
Yes
The Liberal Party of Australia (Western Australian Division) Inc Liberal Party
2 / 59
7 / 36
David Honey Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
LEGALISE CANNABIS WESTERN AUSTRALIA PARTY Legalise Cannabis Western Australia Party
0 / 59
2 / 36
Sophia Moermond Cannabis legalisation Yes
The Greens (WA) Inc The Greens (WA)
0 / 59
1 / 36
Brad Pettitt Green politics Yes
Daylight Saving Party Daylight Saving Party
0 / 59
1 / 36
Wilson Tucker Daylight saving advocacy No

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Christians (WA) Australian Christians Jamie van Burgel Conservatism
Christian right
Yes
Animal Justice Party Katrina Love Animal rights Yes
Great Australian Party Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Constitutional conspiracy
Right-wing populism
Yes
Health Australia Party Health Australia Party Naturopathy
Anti-fluoridation
No
Liberal Democratic Party Liberal Democrats Aaron Stonehouse Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
No
Liberals For Climate - The Flux Network Liberals For Climate Daithi Gleeson Direct democracy No
NO MANDATORY VACCINATION PARTY NO MANDATORY VACCINATION Cam Tinley Anti-mandatory vaccination No
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Pauline Hanson's One Nation Colin Tincknell Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (WA) Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Rick Mazza Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes
Small Business Party Small Business Party Small business advocacy No
Socialist Alliance WA Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Yes
SUSTAINABLE AUSTRALIA PARTY - STOP OVERDEVELOPMENT / CORRUPTION John Haydon Environmentalism
Sustainable development
Yes
WESTERN AUSTRALIA PARTY WESTERN AUSTRALIA PARTY Julie Matheson Regionalism
Populism
Yes

South Australia

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

Parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name MHAs MLCs Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch) Australian Labor Party
27 / 47
9 / 22
Peter Malinauskas Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division) Liberal Party
16 / 47
8 / 22
David Speirs Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
Australian Greens SA The Greens
0 / 47
2 / 22
Tammy Franks Green politics Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation
0 / 47
1 / 22
No leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Hansonism
Yes
SA-BEST Incorporated SA-BEST
0 / 47
2 / 22
Connie Bonaros Social liberalism Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party Louise Pfeiffer Animal rights Yes
Australian Family Party Aust Family Party Bob Day Christian politics
Right-wing populism
Conservatism
No
Child Protection Party CPP Tony Tonkin Child protection advocacy No
Family First Party Inc Family First Tom Kenyon Christian politics No
Legalise Cannabis South Australia Party LCSA Party Damon Adams Cannabis legalisation Yes
Liberal Democratic Party Liberal Democrats less government more freedom Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
No
National Party of Australia (SA) Inc The Nationals Jonathon Pietzsch Conservatism
Agrarianism
Yes
Real Change SA Stephen Pallaras No
SA Party – Stop Overdevelopment & Corruption SA Party Yes

Tasmania

As of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission:[16]

Parliamentary parties

Name MHAs MLCs Leader Ideology Has federal division
The Liberal Party of Australia, Tasmania Division
13 / 25
4 / 15
Jeremy Rockliff Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
Australian Labor Party
9 / 25
4 / 15
Rebecca White Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
Tasmanian Greens
2 / 25
0 / 15
Cassy O'Connor Green politics Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party Karen Bevis Animal rights Yes
Australian Federation Party Tasmania Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Yes
Jacqui Lambie Network Jacqui Lambie Regionalism
Veterans' rights
Yes
The Local Party Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Tasmania Rebecca Byfield Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes

Australian Capital Territory

As listed with the ACT Electoral Commission:[17]

Parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name MLAs Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) ACT Labor
10 / 25
Andrew Barr Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
Liberal Party of Australia (A.C.T. Division) Canberra Liberals
9 / 25
Elizabeth Lee Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Yes
The ACT Greens The Greens
6 / 25
Shane Rattenbury Green politics Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Abbreviated name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party AJP Animal rights Yes
Australian Climate Change Justice Party Socially Just Community Action On Climate No
Australian Federation Party Australian Capital Territory Federation Party Australian Capital Territory Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Yes
Belco Party (ACT) Belco Party Bill Stefaniak No
Canberra Progressives CP Kerry Markoulli Progressivism Yes
David Pollard Independent David Pollard No
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Labour DLP Christian democracy
Distributism
No
Liberal Democratic Party Liberal Democrats Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
No
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (ACT) SFF Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption Sustainable Australia Party John Haydon Environmentalism[18]
Sustainable development
Yes
The Canberra Party Canberra Party No
The Community Action Party (ACT) Community Action No

Northern Territory

As of the Northern Territory Electoral Commission:[19]

Parliamentary parties

Name MLAs Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Labor Party - Northern Territory Branch
14 / 25
Natasha Fyles Social democracy
Social liberalism[10]
Yes
Country Liberal Party of the Northern Territory
8 / 25
Lia Finocchiaro Liberal conservatism
Agrarianism
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party Animal welfare Yes
Federation Party Northern Territory Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Yes
NT Greens No leader Green politics Yes
Shooters and Fishers Party Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Yes
Territory Alliance Terry Mills Regionalism No

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. ^ a b 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.
  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. ^ a b c d e f g h Sources:
  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.