Australian Electoral Commission

Party registration overview

Updated: 22 April 2013

Current Register of Political Parties

The AEC maintains a Register of Political Parties. This register lists those parties which are eligible to have the party affiliation of their endorsed candidates printed on ballot papers.

Eligibility

To be eligible for registration a party must be:

  • Established on the basis of a written Constitution that sets out the aims of the party and;
    either:
    • a parliamentary party, which is a political party with at least one member in the Parliament of the Commonwealth;
      or
    • a political party that has at least 500 members who are on the electoral roll and are not relied on by any other party.

Applications

Applications for registration are made to the AEC's National Office. For parliamentary parties they may be made by the party secretary or all the parliamentary members. For other political parties the application must be signed by ten members of the party of whom one is the secretary of the party.

An application cannot be processed by the AEC in the period between the issue and the return of the writ for a Commonwealth election or by-election.

For application requirements, refer to the Party Registration Guide.

Notification and Objection

When the AEC receives an application for party registration it publishes a notice in major newspapers in each State and Territory. This notice invites objections on the grounds that:

  • the application does not meet the legislative requirements;
  • the party is not an eligible political party;
  • the name is one which should be refused by the AEC.

Any person or organisation may object to a party being registered on these grounds by submitting reasons in writing to the AEC during the month after the date of notice.

Deregistration

The AEC may de-register a party on the following grounds:

  • the party has ceased to exist;
  • the original registration was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation;
  • a non-parliamentary party has failed to endorse candidates for election for a period of 4 years;
  • the registered officer did not comply with a review notice;
  • the party has less than 500 members and no Parliamentary members; or
  • at the request of the party.