Australian Electoral Commission

Information on objecting to an application for party registration

Updated: 22 April 2013

Registration and its benefits

The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (the Electoral Act) provides for the registration of political parties. Registration is not compulsory, but parties achieve several benefits by being registered under the Electoral Act:

  • registered political parties can have their name or abbreviation printed adjacent to their candidates' names on ballot papers;
  • registered political parties can nominate a candidate using one person as a nominator (the Registered Officer) rather than 100 electors;
  • registered political parties can request regular updates of the electoral roll and other electoral information; and
  • registered political parties are paid any election funding due in proportion to the votes their candidates receive. For candidates not endorsed by registered political parties, any election funding is paid to the candidate.

Applications for registration

Political parties can apply for registration under the Electoral Act. The AEC examines each application and associated documents to assess if the party is entitled to registration under the provisions set out in the Electoral Act. The AEC then advertises the application in newspapers around the country to allow any person a period of one month in which to object to the registration.

Grounds for objections to applications for registration

Objections are only considered if they are on grounds set out in the Electoral Act. Section 132 of the Electoral Act sets out the following permitted grounds for objection to an application for party registration:

  • that the party is not eligible for registration (for eligibility requirements see ss.4 and 123 of the Electoral Act);
  • that the technical requirements for an application have not been met (for the technical requirements see s.126 of the Electoral Act);
  • that the party name must be refused (for party names that must be refused see s.129 of the Electoral Act).

Method of lodging an objection

An objection must be in writing, signed by the objector, specify a street address for that objector and include the grounds for the objector's belief that the application for party registration should be refused.

An objection must be submitted within one month of the appearance of the advertisement in the press and can be:

Mailed to the Electoral Commissioner

Australian Electoral Commission
PO Box 6172
Kingston ACT 2604

Faxed to 02 6293 7655
or emailed to fad@aec.gov.au

Processing of objections

The AEC will forward any objections received to the political party applying for registration to give it the opportunity to comment on them. The AEC then considers all relevant material and determines to register the political party or to refuse registration.

Both objectors and the party applying for registration will be advised of the AEC's decision and of their review rights. The AEC's decisions are also placed on this website and the reasons given.

For further information on objections , please refer to the Party Registration Guide.

Further information

Decisions of an AEC delegate to register or refuse registration are open to review by the three-person Australian Electoral Commission and in turn by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Party registration is administered by the Funding and Disclosure Section of the AEC: