Political Party Registration

Current Register of Political Parties

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

Applications

Cease in processing of party registration applications

Due to the issue of a writ for the federal by-election in the electoral division of Eden-Monaro the AEC must cease processing of party registration applications*. Processing of applications will recommence on the return of the writ, on or before 5 September 2020.

Reason: Section 127 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 – Party not to be registered during election.

*Note that applications from registered political parties to replace or appoint AEC recognised office bearers is not affected.

Applications for registration must be made to the AEC in line with instructions on the relevant application form and with reference to the Party Registration Guide.

For the registration of a new party

After a party is registered

Election related forms

Application timeframes

  • An application to register a new party would be expected to take at least 12 weeks to complete.
  • Applications from currently registered parties to register a party logo are expected to take a minimum of six weeks to complete.

The approximate timeframe for a party registration application could be extended if objections are received during the one month public consultation process, as applicant parties have the right of response to objections provided to the AEC.

Processing timeframes will also be affected by the conduct of a federal election or by-election as applications cannot legally be processed in the period between the issue and the return of writs.

Notification and objection

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

  • the application does not relate to an eligible political party (new party applications only),
  • the application does not accord with the requirements for registering a new party (new party applications only),
  • the party name, abbreviation or logo is one which should be refused by the Electoral Commission.

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.

Party registration reviews

The AEC’s policy is to review each registered political party once between federal elections – at the mid-point of the electoral cycle. Outside of this cyclical review process, the AEC will undertake a review of the registration of a specific political party if:

  • a parliamentary party ceases to have a member of the House of Representatives or Senate,
  • a party fails to endorse a single candidate in any four year period, or
  • media or other public commentary suggests a party no longer exists.

Deregistration

There are lists available for parties the AEC considering deregistering and recent deregistration decisions.

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.
Updated: 11 December 2019
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