List of political parties in Australia

Summary

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Australia
Constitution

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, 6 of the 151 members of the lower house (Members of Parliament, or MPs) are not members of major parties, as are 15 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 parliament since these typically use a form of proportional representation.

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, 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, or the United Australia Party).

The Liberal Party is joined by the National Party, a party that seeks to represent rural interests, especially agricultural ones. 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, 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 and 2019

Federal parties

Federal parliamentary parties

Name Abbr. Leader Ideology MPs Senators Membership
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia Liberal Scott Morrison Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
61 / 151
31 / 76
50,000[2]
National Party of Australia National Michael McCormack Conservatism
Agrarianism
16 / 151
5 / 76
Not published
Australian Labor Party Labor, ALP Anthony Albanese Social democracy
68 / 151
26 / 76
53,550[3]
Australian Greens Greens Adam Bandt Green politics
1 / 151
9 / 76
15,000[4]
Centre Alliance CA No leader Social liberalism
Populism
1 / 151
2 / 76
Not published
Katter's Australian Party KAP Robbie Katter Right-wing populism
Developmentalism
1 / 151
0 / 76
1,500[5]
Pauline Hanson's One Nation One Nation, PHON Pauline Hanson Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
0 / 151
2 / 76
5,000[5]
Jacqui Lambie Network JLN Jacqui Lambie Tasmanian regionalism
Australian nationalism
0 / 151
1 / 76
Not published

Federal non-parliamentary parties

Parties listed in alphabetical order as of 10 February 2020:[6][7]

Name Leader Ideology
Animal Justice Party Bruce Poon Animal welfare
Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated James Saleam White nationalism
Ultranationalism
Australian Affordable Housing Party Andrew Potts Affordable housing
Australian Better Families Leith Erikson Men's rights
Australian Christians Ray Moran Social conservatism
Christian right
Australian Citizens Party Craig Isherwood LaRouche movement
Australian Democrats Elisa Resce Social liberalism
Agrarianism
Australian Federation Party Glenn O’Rourke Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Australian People's Party Gabriel Harfouche Australian nationalism
Economic nationalism
Australian Progressives Robert Knight Progressivism
Australian Workers Party Mark Ptolemy Modern Monetary Theory
Social democracy
Child Protection Party Tony Tonkin Child protection advocacy
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) Fred Nile National conservatism
Christian right
Clive Palmer's United Australia Party Clive Palmer Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Rosemary Lorrima Social conservatism
Christian democracy
Distributism
Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party Fraser Anning National conservatism
Right-wing populism
Health Australia Party Andrew Patterson Anti-vaccination
Naturopathy
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party Michael Balderstone Cannabis legalisation
Independents For Climate Action Now Jim Tait Climate change action
Informed Medical Options Party Michael O'Neill[8] Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Liberal Democratic Party Duncan Spender Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Love Australia or Leave Kim Vuga Anti-immigration
Anti-Islam
Online Direct Democracy Berge Der Sarkissian Digital direct democracy
Pirate Party Australia Simon Frew Pirate politics
E-democracy
Reason Australia Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Republican Party of Australia Kerry Bromson Republicanism
Save Our One Planet Alliance Climate change action
Science Party Andrea Leong Techno-progressivism
Technocentrism
Secular Party of Australia John Perkins Secular humanism
Secular liberalism
Seniors United Party of Australia Chris Osborne Pensioners' interests
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Robert Brown Conservatism
Gun rights
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Socialist Equality Party Nick Beams Orthodox Trotskyism
Anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia William Bourke Anti-immigration
Anti-overdevelopment
The Australian Mental Health Party Ben Mullings Mental health advocacy
The Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Constitutional conspiracy
Right-wing populism
The Small Business Party Angela Vithoulkas Small business advocacy
The Together Party Social democracy
The Women's Party Divvi De Vendre Representation parity
Liberal feminism
Transport Matters Party Rod Barton Taxi industry advocacy
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism
Voluntary Euthanasia Party Kerry Bromson Voluntary euthanasia
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy! Nathan Spataro Digital direct democracy
Western Australia Party Julie Matheson Regionalism
Populism
Yellow Vest Australia Debbie Robinson Anti-Islam
Right-wing populism

State and Territory parties

New South Wales

Divisions of the federal parties:[9]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MLAs MLCs Has federal division
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) Gladys Berejiklian Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
35 / 93
11 / 42
Yes
National Party of Australia – NSW John Barilaro Conservatism
Agrarianism
13 / 93
6 / 42
Yes
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) Jodi McKay Social democracy
32 / 93
14 / 42
Yes
Country Labor Party
4 / 93
Yes
Greens New South Wales Collective leadership Green politics
3 / 93
3 / 42
Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Robert Brown Conservatism
Gun rights
3 / 93
2 / 42
Yes
Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson Animal rights
0 / 93
2 / 42
Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Mark Latham Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
0 / 93
2 / 42
Yes
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) Paul Green National conservatism
Christian right
0 / 93
1 / 42
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Flux Party (NSW) Nathan Spataro Direct democracy Yes
Keep Sydney Open Anti-lockout laws
Civil libertarianism
No
Liberal Democratic Party Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Yes
Reason Party NSW Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Yes
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Yes
Sustainable Australia (NSW) Anti-immigration
Anti-overdevelopment
Yes
The Small Business Party Small business advocacy Yes

Victoria

As of the Victorian Electoral Commission:[10]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MLAs MLCs Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (Victorian Branch) Daniel Andrews Social democracy
55 / 88
18 / 40
Yes
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) Michael O'Brien Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
21 / 88
10 / 40
Yes
National Party of Australia – Victoria Peter Walsh Conservatism
Agrarianism
6 / 88
1 / 40
Yes
Australian Greens Victoria Samantha Ratnam Green politics
3 / 88
1 / 40
Yes
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Stuart Grimley Justice reform
Anti-paedophilia
0 / 88
2 / 40
Yes
Liberal Democratic Party Tim Quilty Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
0 / 88
2 / 40
Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (Victoria) Jeff Bourman Conservatism
Gun rights
0 / 88
1 / 40
Yes
Fiona Patten's Reason Party Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
0 / 88
1 / 40
Yes
Sustainable Australia Clifford Hayes Anti-immigration
Anti-overdevelopment
Green liberalism
0 / 88
1 / 40
Yes
Animal Justice Party Andy Meddick Animal rights
0 / 88
1 / 40
Yes
Transport Matters Party Rod Barton Taxi industry advocacy
0 / 88
1 / 40
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Democratic Labour Party Rosemary Lorrimar Social conservatism
Christian democracy
Yes
Health Australia Party Naturopathy
Anti-vaccination
Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation No leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Yes
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism Yes
Voluntary Euthanasia Party Voluntary euthanasia Yes

Queensland

As of the Queensland Electoral Commission:[11]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MPs Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (Queensland Branch) Annastacia Palaszczuk Social democracy
48 / 93
Yes
Liberal National Party of Queensland Deb Frecklington Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
39 / 93
Yes
Katter's Australian Party Robbie Katter Right-wing populism
Developmentalism
3 / 93
Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation No state leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
1 / 93
Yes
Queensland Greens No leader Green politics
1 / 93
Yes
North Queensland First Jason Costigan North Queensland statehood
1 / 93
No

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party (Queensland) Animal rights Yes
Clive Palmer's United Australia Party Clive Palmer Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Yes
Motorists Party Jeffrey Hodges Public ownership No
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (QLD) Andrew Pope Conservatism
Gun rights
Yes
Informed Medical Options Party Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Yes

Western Australia

As of the Western Australian Electoral Commission:[12]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MLAs MLCs Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (WA Branch) Mark McGowan Social democracy
40 / 59
14 / 36
Yes
Liberal Party of Australia (WA Division) Liza Harvey Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
13 / 59
9 / 36
Yes
National Party of Australia (WA) Mia Davies Conservatism
Agrarianism
6 / 59
4 / 36
Yes
Greens Western Australia Alison Xamon Green politics
0 / 59
4 / 36
Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Colin Tincknell Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
0 / 59
2 / 36
Yes
Western Australia Party Julie Matheson Regionalism
Centrism
0 / 59
1 / 36
Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (WA) Inc Rick Mazza Conservatism
Gun rights
0 / 59
1 / 36
Yes
Liberal Democratic Party Aaron Stonehouse Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
0 / 59
1 / 36
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Christians (WA) Jamie van Burgel Conservatism
Christian right
Yes
Animal Justice Party Katrina Love Animal rights Yes
Daylight Saving Party Wilson Tucker Daylight savings advocacy No
Flux Party WA Nathan Spataro Direct democracy Yes
Health Australia Party Naturopathy
Anti-fluoridation
Yes
Small Business Party John Golawski Small business advocacy No
Socialist Alliance WA No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Yes

South Australia

As of the Electoral Commission of South Australia:[13]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MHAs MLCs Has federal division
Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division) Steven Marshall Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
25 / 47
9 / 22
Yes
Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) Peter Malinauskas Social democracy
19 / 47
8 / 22
Yes
Greens South Australia Mark Parnell Green politics
0 / 47
2 / 22
Yes
SA-BEST Connie Bonaros Social liberalism
0 / 47
2 / 22
Yes
Advance SA John Darley Centrism
0 / 47
1 / 22
No

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party Louise Pfeiffer Animal rights Yes
Child Protection Party Tony Tonkin Child protection advocacy Yes
National Party of Australia (SA) Jonathon Pietzsch Conservatism
Agrarianism
Yes

Tasmania

As of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission:[14]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MHAs MLCs Has federal division
Liberal Party of Australia (Tasmanian Division) Peter Gutwein Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
13 / 25
2 / 15
Yes
Australian Labor Party (Tasmanian Branch) Rebecca White Social democracy
9 / 25
4 / 15
Yes
Tasmanian Greens Cassy O'Connor Green politics
2 / 25
0 / 15
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Christians Conservatism
Christian right
Yes
Australian Federation Party Tasmania Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Yes
Animal Justice Party Karen Bevis Animal rights Yes
Jacqui Lambie Network Jacqui Lambie Populism
Regionalism
Yes
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Matthew Stephen Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Yes
Shooters and Fishers Party Tasmania Rebecca Byfield Conservatism
Gun rights
Yes
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Yes

Australian Capital Territory

As listed with the ACT Electoral Commission:[15]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MPs Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) Andrew Barr Social democracy
12 / 25
Yes
Liberal Party of Australia (A.C.T. Division) Alistair Coe Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
11 / 25
Yes
ACT Greens Shane Rattenbury Green politics
2 / 25
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Animal Justice Party Animal rights Yes
Australian Climate Change Justice Party No
Australian Federation Party (ACT) Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Yes
Belco Party Bill Stefaniak No
Canberra Progressives Jasper Knight Progressivism Yes
David Pollard Independent No
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Christian democracy
Distributism
Yes
Liberal Democratic Party Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Yes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (ACT) Conservatism
Gun rights
Yes
Sustainable Australia (ACT) John Haydon Anti-immigration
Anti-overdevelopment[16]
Yes
The Canberra Party No
The Community Action Party (ACT) No
The Flux Party – ACT Nathan Spataro Direct democracy Yes

Northern Territory

As of the Northern Territory Electoral Commission:[17]

Parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology MPs Has federal division
Australian Labor Party (NT Branch) Michael Gunner Social democracy
16 / 25
Yes
Territory Alliance Terry Mills Regionalism
3 / 25
No
Country Liberal Party Lia Finocchiaro Liberal conservatism
Agrarianism
2 / 25
Yes

Non-parliamentary parties

Name Leader Ideology Has federal division
Australian Federation Party NT Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Yes
Animal Justice Party Animal welfare Yes
Ban Fracking Fix Crime Protect Water Braedon Earley Regionalism No
Northern Territory Greens No leader Green politics Yes
Shooters and Fishers Party Conservatism
Gun rights
Yes

See also

References

  1. ^ "OzPolitics.info". OzPolitics.info. Archived from the original on 28 September 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ Crowe, David (21 February 2019). "The incredibly shrunken Liberal Party and its structural challenge". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  3. ^ Crowe, David (21 February 2019). "The incredibly shrunken Liberal Party and its structural challenge". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 April 2020.
  4. ^ Harris, Rob (22 April 2020). "Old Greens wounds reopen as members vote on directly electing leader". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b "The party's over: which clubs have the most members?". Crikey. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Current Register of Political Parties". Australian Electoral Commission. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Party registration decisions and changes". Australian Electoral Commission. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  8. ^ "No jab, no vote: new anti-vax party registered". Crikey. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  9. ^ "Information About Registered Parties". www.elections.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Currently registered parties". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Political party register". Electoral Commission Queensland. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Registered Political Parties in WA". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Register of political parties". Electoral Commission of South Australia. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Party Register". Tec.tas.gov.au. Tasmanian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Register of political parties". Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Policy Platform - Sustainable Australia Party". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Register of political parties in the Northern Territory". NTEC. Retrieved 30 October 2018.