List of political parties in Australia

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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).

Contents

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

NameAbbr.LeaderIdeologyMPsSenatorsMembership
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia Liberal Scott Morrison Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
60 / 151
31 / 76
50,000 [2]
National Party of Australia National Michael McCormack Conservatism
Agrarianism
16 / 151
5 / 76
100,000
(2013) [3]
Australian Labor Party Labor, ALP Anthony Albanese Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
68 / 151
26 / 76
53,550 [5]
Australian Greens Greens Adam Bandt Green politics
1 / 151
9 / 76
15,000 [6]
Centre Alliance CANo leader Social liberalism
Populism
1 / 151
1 / 76
Not published
Katter's Australian Party KAP Robbie Katter Right-wing populism
Developmentalism
1 / 151
0 / 76
1,500 [7]
Pauline Hanson's One Nation One Nation, PHON Pauline Hanson Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
0 / 151
2 / 76
5,000 [7]
Jacqui Lambie Network JLN Jacqui Lambie Tasmanian regionalism
Australian nationalism
0 / 151
1 / 76
Not published
Rex Patrick Team Rex Patrick
0 / 151
1 / 76
Not published

Federal non-parliamentary parties

Parties listed in alphabetical order as of June 2021: [8] [9]

NameLeaderIdeology
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 Lyn Allison Social liberalism
Agrarianism
Centrism
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
Climate Emergency Action Alliance: Vote Planet Climate change action
Clive Palmer's United Australia Party Clive Palmer Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Rosemary Lorrima Social conservatism
Christian democracy
Distributism
Health Australia Party Andrew Patterson Anti-vaccination
Naturopathy
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party Michael Balderstone Cannabis legalisation
Independents CAN Jim Tait Climate change action
Informed Medical Options Party Michael O'Neill [10] Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Liberal Democratic Party Duncan Spender Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Love Australia or Leave Kim Vuga Anti-immigration
Anti-Islam
No 5G Party 5G conspiracy [11]
Reason Australia Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Republican Party of Australia Kerry Bromson Republicanism
Science Party Andrea Leong Techno-progressivism
Technocentrism
Secular Party of Australia John Perkins Secular humanism
Secular liberalism
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Robert Brown Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Socialist Alliance Ryan Fitzsimmons Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Socialist Equality Party Nick Beams Orthodox Trotskyism
Anti-capitalism
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption William Bourke Anti-overdevelopment
Anti-corruption
The Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Constitutional conspiracy
Right-wing populism
The New Liberals Victor Kline Social liberalism
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
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy! Nathan Spataro Digital direct democracy
Western Australia Party Julie Matheson Regionalism
Populism

State and Territory parties

New South Wales

Divisions of the federal parties: [12]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMLAsMLCsHas federal division
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) Gladys Berejiklian Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
36 / 93
11 / 42
Green check.svg
National Party of Australia – NSW John Barilaro Conservatism
Agrarianism
12 / 93
6 / 42
Green check.svg
Australian Labor Party (NSW Branch) Jodi McKay Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
32 / 93
14 / 42
Green check.svg
Country Labor Party
4 / 93
Green check.svg
Greens New South Wales Collective leadership Green politics
3 / 93
3 / 42
Green check.svg
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Robert Brown Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
3 / 93
2 / 42
Green check.svg
Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson Animal rights
0 / 93
2 / 42
Green check.svg
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Mark Latham Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Hansonism
0 / 93
2 / 42
Green check.svg
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) Fred Nile National conservatism
Christian right
0 / 93
1 / 42
Green check.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Flux Party (NSW) Nathan Spataro Direct democracy Green check.svg
Liberal Democratic Party Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Green check.svg
Reason Party NSW Civil libertarianism
Progressivism
Green check.svg
Socialist Alliance No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Green check.svg
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption Anti-overdevelopment
Anti-corruption
Green check.svg
The Small Business Party Small business advocacy Green check.svg
The Open Party Anti-lockout laws
Civil libertarianism
Dark Red x.svg

Victoria

As of the Victorian Electoral Commission: [13]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMLAsMLCsHas federal division
Australian Labor Party (Victorian Branch) Daniel Andrews Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
55 / 88
18 / 40
Green check.svg
The Coalition
Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) Michael O'Brien Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
21 / 88
10 / 40
Green check.svg
National Party of Australia – Victoria Peter Walsh Conservatism
Agrarianism
6 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg
Australian Greens Victoria Samantha Ratnam Green politics
3 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party Stuart Grimley Justice reform
Anti-paedophilia
0 / 88
2 / 40
Green check.svg
Liberal Democratic Party Tim Quilty Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
0 / 88
2 / 40
Green check.svg
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (Victoria) Jeff Bourman Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
0 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg
Fiona Patten's Reason Party Fiona Patten Civil libertarianism
0 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption Clifford Hayes Anti-overdevelopment
Anti-corruption
0 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg
Animal Justice Party Andy Meddick Animal rights
0 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg
Transport Matters Party Rod Barton Taxi industry advocacy
0 / 88
1 / 40
Green check.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Democratic Labour Party Rosemary Lorrimar Social conservatism
Christian democracy
Green check.svg
Health Australia Party Naturopathy
Anti-vaccination
Green check.svg
Pauline Hanson's One Nation No leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Green check.svg
Victorian Socialists No leader Democratic socialism Green check.svg

Queensland

As of the Queensland Electoral Commission: [14]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMPsHas federal division
Australian Labor Party (Queensland Branch) Annastacia Palaszczuk Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
52 / 93
Green check.svg
Liberal National Party of Queensland David Crisafulli Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
34 / 93
Green check.svg
Katter's Australian Party Robbie Katter Right-wing populism
Developmentalism
3 / 93
Green check.svg
Queensland Greens No leader Green politics
Left-wing populism
2 / 93
Green check.svg
Pauline Hanson's One Nation No state leader Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
1 / 93
Green check.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Animal Justice Party (Queensland) Animal rights Green check.svg
Clive Palmer's United Australia Party Clive Palmer Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Green check.svg
Civil Liberties & Motorists Party Jeffrey Hodges Public ownership Dark Red x.svg
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (QLD) Andrew Pope Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Green check.svg
Informed Medical Options Party Anti-vaccination
Anti-fluoridation
Green check.svg
Legalise Cannabis Qld (Party) Cannabis legalisation Dark Red x.svg
North Queensland First Jason Costigan North Queensland statehood
Dark Red x.svg

Western Australia

As of the Western Australian Electoral Commission: [15]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMLAsMLCsHas federal division
Australian Labor Party (WA Branch) Mark McGowan Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
53 / 59
22 / 36
Green check.svg
National Party of Australia (WA) Mia Davies Conservatism
Agrarianism
4 / 59
3 / 36
Green check.svg
Liberal Party of Australia (WA Division) David Honey Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
2 / 59
7 / 36
Green check.svg
Legalise Cannabis Western Australia Party Sophia Moermond Cannabis legalisation
0 / 59
2 / 36
Green check.svg
Greens Western Australia Brad Pettitt Green politics
0 / 59
1 / 36
Green check.svg
Daylight Saving Party Wilson Tucker Daylight savings advocacy
0 / 59
1 / 36
Dark Red x.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Australian Christians (WA) Jamie van Burgel Conservatism
Christian right
Green check.svg
Animal Justice Party Katrina Love Animal rights Green check.svg
The Great Australian Party Rod Culleton Constitutional conspiracy
Right-wing populism
Green check.svg
Health Australia Party Naturopathy
Anti-fluoridation
Green check.svg
Liberal Democratic Party Aaron Stonehouse Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Green check.svg
Liberals For Climate Daithi Gleeson Direct democracy Green check.svg
No Mandatory Vaccination Party Cam Tinley Anti-vaccination Dark Red x.svg
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Colin Tincknell Right-wing populism
Australian nationalism
Green check.svg
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (WA) Inc Rick Mazza Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Green check.svg
Socialist Alliance WA No leader Socialism
Anti-capitalism
Green check.svg
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption John Haydon Anti-overdevelopment
Anti-corruption
Green check.svg
WAxit Party Russell Sewell Western Australia independence Dark Red x.svg
Western Australia Party Julie Matheson Regionalism
Populism
Green check.svg

South Australia

As of the Electoral Commission of South Australia: [16]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMHAsMLCsHas federal division
Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division) Steven Marshall Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
24 / 47
9 / 22
Green check.svg
Australian Labor Party (SA Branch) Peter Malinauskas Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
19 / 47
8 / 22
Green check.svg
Greens South Australia Mark Parnell Green politics
0 / 47
2 / 22
Green check.svg
SA-BEST Connie Bonaros Social liberalism
0 / 47
2 / 22
Green check.svg
Advance SA John Darley Centrism
0 / 47
1 / 22
Dark Red x.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Animal Justice Party Louise Pfeiffer Animal rights Green check.svg
Child Protection Party Tony Tonkin Child protection advocacy Green check.svg
National Party of Australia (SA) Jonathon Pietzsch Conservatism
Agrarianism
Green check.svg

Tasmania

As of the Tasmanian Electoral Commission: [17]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMHAsMLCsHas federal division
Liberal Party of Australia (Tasmanian Division) Peter Gutwein Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
12 / 25
2 / 15
Green check.svg
Australian Labor Party (Tasmanian Branch) Rebecca White Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
9 / 25
4 / 15
Green check.svg
Tasmanian Greens Cassy O'Connor Green politics
2 / 25
0 / 15
Green check.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Australian Federation Party Tasmania Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Green check.svg
Animal Justice Party Karen Bevis Animal rights Green check.svg
Jacqui Lambie Network Jacqui Lambie Populism
Regionalism
Green check.svg
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Tasmania Rebecca Byfield Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Green check.svg

Australian Capital Territory

As listed with the ACT Electoral Commission: [18]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMPsHas federal division
Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) Andrew Barr Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
10 / 25
Green check.svg
Liberal Party of Australia (A.C.T. Division) Elizabeth Lee Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
9 / 25
Green check.svg
ACT Greens Shane Rattenbury Green politics
6 / 25
Green check.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Animal Justice Party Animal rights Green check.svg
Australian Climate Change Justice Party Dark Red x.svg
Australian Federation Party (ACT) Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Green check.svg
Belco Party Bill Stefaniak Dark Red x.svg
Canberra Progressives Jasper Knight Progressivism Green check.svg
David Pollard IndependentDark Red x.svg
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Christian democracy
Distributism
Green check.svg
Liberal Democratic Party Classical liberalism
Right-libertarianism
Green check.svg
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (ACT) Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Green check.svg
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment / Corruption John Haydon Anti-overdevelopment [19]
Anti-corruption
Green check.svg
The Canberra Party Dark Red x.svg
The Community Action Party (ACT) Dark Red x.svg
The Flux Party – ACT Nathan Spataro Direct democracy Green check.svg

Northern Territory

As of the Northern Territory Electoral Commission: [20]

Parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyMPsHas federal division
Australian Labor Party (NT Branch) Michael Gunner Social democracy
Social liberalism [4]
14 / 25
Green check.svg
Country Liberal Party Lia Finocchiaro Liberal conservatism
Agrarianism
8 / 25
Green check.svg

Non-parliamentary parties

NameLeaderIdeologyHas federal division
Australian Federation Party NT Australian nationalism
Conservatism
Green check.svg
Animal Justice Party Animal welfare Green check.svg
Ban Fracking Fix Crime Protect Water Braedon Earley Regionalism Dark Red x.svg
Northern Territory Greens No leader Green politics Green check.svg
Shooters and Fishers Party Green conservatism
Right-wing populism
Green check.svg
Territory Alliance Terry Mills Regionalism Dark Red x.svg

See also

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