Political Party Registration

Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Act 2021

On 2 September 2021, the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Act 2021 received Royal Assent. Further information is available on the Party registration guidance page.

Application to register a new political party

To apply to register a political party for a federal election, you should:

  • read the Guide for registering a party
  • complete the appropriate form
  • understand the timeframes

The Guide provides assistance to new parties to apply for registration including eligibility requirements and process for registering a political party.

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

  • An application to register a new party would be expected to take at least 12 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.

Maintaining party registration

To maintain the registration of a political party, you should:

  • read the Guide for maintaining party registration
  • complete the appropriate application form
  • understand the timeframes
  • understand party registration reviews

This Guide provides assistance to registered parties to maintain party registration, change party details and party officers and information on the deregistration of political parties.

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

Election related forms

  • Applications from currently registered parties to register a party logo are expected to take a minimum of eight weeks to complete.
  • The timeframe for an application to change a party name, abbreviation or logo 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 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.

The AEC’s policy is to review each registered political party once between federal elections – at the mid-point of the electoral cycle. Parties that do not have a member of Parliament will be reviewed to determine if they continue to have 1,500 members.

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

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 four years;
  • the registered officer did not comply with a review notice;
  • the party has fewer than 1,500 members and no parliamentary members; or
  • at the request of the party.

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

Notification and objection

When the AEC receives an application for party registration (new party registration or a change to the Register) it considers meets the requirements for registration, it must publish a notice in major newspapers in each State and Territory and on the AEC website.

Any person or organisation may object to a party being registered on specific grounds by submitting reasons in writing to the AEC before the end of the time specified in the notice.

The registered officer of an earlier registered party may submit an objection to the continued registration of a second party’s name, abbreviation or logo on specific grounds.

Further information

Updated: 12 October 2021
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