List of political parties in Australia

List of political parties in Australia

Political parties in Australia lists political parties in Australia.

Australia has a mild two-party system. There are two dominant political groupings in the Australian political system, and aspects of the Australian electoral system have made it difficult for other parties or independents to gain parliamentary representation. Nevertheless, the system of preferential voting used in Australian elections, combined with proportional representation for most Upper House elections, makes it easier for minor parties and independents to gain representation in Australia than in some other two-party systems of government, such as in the United States.

Significant political parties (and their federal leaders)

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 Australian federal election, 1910. Currently, the ALP is in government federally, and in every state and territory except Western Australia.

The other group is a conservative grouping of parties that are in coalition at the federal level and in NSW, but compete in Victoria, 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. In its modern form, it was founded by Robert Menzies in 1944. The party's philosophy is generally liberal conservatism, although it has moved rightwards since the 1980s. Every elected Prime Minister of Australia since 1910 has either been a member of the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, or one of the Liberal Party's predecessor parties (the Commonwealth Liberal Party, the Nationalist Party of Australia, or the United Australia Party.)

The Liberal Party is joined by The Nationals, a party that represents rural interests - especially primary industry. The National Party contests a limited number of seats and does not generally directly compete with the Liberal Party. Its ideology is generally more conservative than the Liberal Party. In 1987, the Nationals made an abortive run for the prime ministership in their own right, in the Joh for Canberra campaign; however, they have 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.

The third member of this grouping is the Country Liberal Party, which is the major representative of the conservative side of politics in the Northern Territory (the Liberal and National parties do not operate in the NT). Similarly, the Liberal National Party of Queensland represents these parties in Queensland. Collectively, these parties are known as The Coalition. The Coalition has existed constantly (between the Nationals and their predecessors, and the Liberals and their predecessors) since 1923, with minor breaks in 1940, 1973 and 1987. It therefore makes sense to refer to the Coalition as a de facto party.

Historically, support for either the Coalition or the Labor Party was often viewed as being based around class, with the middle class supporting the Coalition and the working class supporting Labor. In more recent times, this has been a less important factor because the 1970s and 1980s saw Labor gain a significant bloc of middle class support and the Coalition gain a significant bloc of working class support.

The two-party duopoly has been relatively stable, with the two groupings (Labor and Coalition) gaining at least 75% of the primary vote in every election since 1910 (including the votes of autonomous state parties). The formerly significant Australian Democrats, have been the only true 'third party' to receive more than 10% of the vote for the Australian House of Representatives in a federal election, in the Australian federal election, 1990. This indicates the stability of the two-party system.

There are two other parties which are of some significance in Australian political system. The Australian Greens are currently seen as the 'third force' in Australian politics. They are a left wing and environmentalist party, generally achieving 7-9% of votes in elections (although they achieve significantly higher votes in some States). They have largely superseded the Australian Democrats, the largest minor party between 1977 and 2004. The Family First Party, is a relatively recent party, with a Christian-influenced platform appealing mainly to social conservatives. They have achieved some success in recent elections, polling around 2% of the national vote. The proportional representation system has allowed these parties to win seats in the Senate, but they have generally been unable to win seats in the House of Representatives (the Greens won a House seat at a 2002 by-election, but lost it in 2004).

Political parties which have been of some significance in the past (since World War II), in terms of shaping Australian politics, include the Australian Democrats, Democratic Labor Party, One Nation Party, Nuclear Disarmament Party, the Australia Party, the Liberal Movement, and the Communist Party of Australia.

Current parties

Current Parliamentary representation of minor parties

This is a list of parliamentary representation of minor parties at Federal and State levels:

* Australian Greens: 21 [(Federal (5), NSW (4), Tasmania (4), Victoria (3), Western Australia (2), Queensland (1), South Australia (1), ACT (1)]

* Family First Party: 3 [Federal (1), South Australia (2)]

* Christian Democratic Party : 2 [NSW (2)]

* Shooters Party: 2 [NSW (2)]

* Australian Democrats: 1 [South Australia (1)]

* One Nation Party: 1 [Queensland (1)]

* Democratic Labor Party: 1 [Victoria (1)]

Registered for elections with the AEC

* Australian Democrats
* Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party
* Australian Greens
* Australian Labor Party
* Carers Alliance
* Christian Democratic Party
* Citizens Electoral Council
* Climate Change Coalition
* Conservatives for Climate and Environment
* Country Liberal Party
* Democratic Labor Party
* Family First Party
* Fishing Party
* Hear Our Voice
* Liberal Party of Australia
* Liberty & Democracy Party
* National Party of Australia
* Non-Custodial Parents Party
* Nuclear Disarmament Party
* One Nation Party
* Pauline's United Australia Party
* Senator On-Line
* Shooters Party
* Socialist Alliance
* Socialist Equality Party
* What Women Want

For latest details see:

Not currently registered with the AEC

* Advance Australia Party
* Australia First Party
* Australians Against Further Immigration (AAFI)
* Communist Party of Australia
* Country Alliance
* Ex-Service, Service and Veterans Party
* Family Law Reform Party
* Four Wheel Drive Party
* Great Australians Party
* Grey Power
* HEMP (Help End Marijuana Prohibition)
* Hope Party
* Human Rights Party
* Liberals for Forests
* Liberal National Party of Queensland
* Libertarian Party
* Lower Excise Fuel and Beer Party
* New Country Party
* No GST Party
* One Nation NSW (Oldfield group)
* Outdoor Recreation Party
* People Power Party
* Progressive Labour Party
* Republican Party of Australia
* Save Our Suburbs
* Secular Party of Australia
* Socialist Party
* Tasmania First Party
* Unity Party (Australia)
* Workers Liberty Australia
* Workers Power

Defunct parties

* All for Australia League
* Australia Party
* Australian Commonwealth Party
* Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist)
* Australian Party
* Australian Progressive Alliance
* Australian Women's Party (1995)
* Confederate Action Party of Australia
* Centre-Line Party
* City Country Alliance
* Commonwealth Liberal Party
* Communist Party of Australia (1920 - 1991)
* Country and Progressive National Party
* Curtin Labor Alliance
* Deadly Serious Party
* Democratic Labor Party (1955-78)
* Democratic Socialist Electoral League
* Free Trade Party
* Illawarra Workers Party
* Lang Labor Also known as Non-Communist Labor Party
* Liberal and Country League
* Liberal Democrat Party
* Liberal Movement
* Liberal Reform Group
* Liberal Reform Party
* Liberal Party (1922)
* National Alliance (WA)
* Natural Law Party
* No Aircraft Noise
* New LM
* National Action
* National Socialist Party of Australia
* Nationalist Party of Australia
* One Parliament for Australia
* Party! Party! Party!
* Progress Party
* Progressive Party
* Protectionist Party
* Protestant People's Party
* Queensland Labor Party
* Reform the Legal System
* Revenue Tariff Party
* SA First
* Single Tax League
* State Labor Party (NSW non-Lang)
* Sun Ripened Warm Tomato Party
* Surprise Party
* Unite Australia Party
* United Australia Party
* United Tasmania Group
* Western Australian Party

ee also

* Index of political parties to browse parties by name
* List of political parties to browse parties by country
* List of political parties by ideology to browse parties by name
* Membership of internationals to browse parties by membership of internationals

Other parties on the Internet

*Directories: [ Australian Politics] / [ Yahoo Australia & NZ]
* [ Citizens' Electoral Council]
* [ Communist Party of Australia]
* [ The Fishing Party]
* [ HEMP Party]
* [ Non-Custodial Parents Party]
* [ Progressive Labour Party]
* [ Republican Party of Australia]
* [ Socialist Alliance]
* [ Socialist Equality Party]
* [ Unity Party]

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