Thursday, August 26, 2021

Party Registration Crackdown Tracker


+7 New parties registered under new rules

-13 Existing parties deregistered following new rules (excludes deregistrations under old rules)

Final net change following new rules: -6

Parties registered for 2022 election: 38

One party is listed as an applicant for registration that cannot occur before the election as the party register is now frozen.

Three parties are formally listed for potential deregistration that cannot occur before the election for the same reason. 


(This article is continually updated - the original intro text is below)

The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill 2021 has passed the Senate without amendments and will shortly receive Royal Assent.  The Bill (i) increases the party membership number requirement for non-parliamentary parties to 1500 members (ii) requires that a person can only be counted as a member of one party (iii) prevents parties from registering names that use words already used by pre-existing parties without consent, with some exceptions.

My view on these changes was expressed in a previous article (The Trolls That Got There First).  I think the membership changes are in principle good and will not disadvantage minor parties with any real chance of ever winning seats - on the contrary they should reduce ballot paper clutter and encourage micro-parties to merge into units more likely to be competitive with bigger parties.  However I believe this should have been accompanied by reform to the current unfair and confusing treatment of non-party groups, which could become more common and cause increased confusion and unsightly ballot papers following this change. Also, the change disadvantages parties with their support based in the NT, ACT or Tasmania and there should probably be a one-jurisdiction registration option with the old 500 member limit.  

Concerning party names, I strongly share the Liberal Party's frustration with the way in which the existing legislation has been interpreted to ignore empirical evidence of actual voter confusion, but I think that the Bill is overkill and will have perverse consequences, especially the potential for insincere hogging of key words by new parties.

Anyway, the Bill is passed now so I'll switch from advocating to observing the consequences! In particular, it will be interesting to watch what happens with the existing registered parties to see how many of them still exist in that form by the end of the year.  This article therefore tracks the status of all parties that were registered for, applying for, or seeking to pursue registration as of 26 August 2021.  News on the progress of parties towards registration, name change, granting of permission to use preoccupied names, or legal action concerning the Bill is noted in italics below each party's name.  

Precursor parties are noted as "suspected parents" where the word used is not exactly the same, pending AEC rulings on what counts as a "grammatical form".  When the AEC has ruled that such a party is a parent, I class it as such too. The term "parent" refers to the older registered party that uses a particular word, following the usage in Section 134(A)1 of the Act.

Please let me know of any statements by parties that they have 1500 members, or that they are taking actions in relation to this Bill (eg merging, changing names, seeking to register 1500 members, passively awaiting or applying for deregistration etc).  

This page is unofficial. See the AEC party registration pages for official news on registration changes.

A Note Re Early Election (text from August, now redundant)

There has been a minor resurgence of early election speculation this week.  Under the party names provisions, impugned parties will have one month to apply for a change of name once the AEC determines their name to be blocked following a complaint by a precursor party.  However the application for change of name would then have to be displayed and assessed, which would take a minimum of six weeks but probably longer.  Because the party register freezes when an election is called, this suggests that a party could drag out the process of responding to a parent party's objection for a few months thereby ensuring that its old name survived til any election called for 2021.

This is more clearly the case for the party numbers clause - three months takes us to early December and means that there would not be time to call an election this year and after the three months had expired.  The AEC will be reviewing which parties have 1500 members from December 2.

Exempt parties: parliamentary parties unaffected by change

Australian Greens (includes state branches)
Australian Labor Party (includes state branches)
Centre Alliance
Jacqui Lambie Network
Katter's Australian Party
Liberal Party of Australia (includes Liberal National Party and other state branches)
National Party of Australia
Pauline Hanson's One Nation #
Rex Patrick Team

# Note re Pauline Hanson's One Nation: I expect that even if "nation" is considered as a grammatical form of "national", One Nation would be exempt from the party names rule as "Nation" would be considered "a collective noun for people".  However I am not certain of this.

Exemption Status: It's Complicated 

Country Liberal Party (apparently not affected for this election)
There was speculation the CLP's only MP, Senator Sam McMahon, might quit the party after being deselected in August, but the Senator initially denied it and it didn't occur.  In 2022 fresh speculation appeared that she could join the Liberal Democrats, however she soon said she wasn't currently intending to contest the election at all. Then on 31 Jan 2022 she announced she was quitting the party after all.  On 28 Feb 2022 the AEC updated the party's status to non-parliamentary. 
The AEC now in theory needs 1500 members which it currently does not have.  However, the CLP will not be immediately deregistered.  According to the AEC's current guide it will be given two months to submit a list of 1500 members, and then even failing that another month to show cause why it should not be deregistered.  The writs will be issued before that process is complete. 
Even without that protection, the CLP might also be able to save its registration by being accepted as a branch of another Coalition party or via another MP (eg a non-recontesting National) tokenly joining it.  Options if it looked like the CLP would be delisted would include allowing members from outside the NT, or to have CLP candidates running as Liberals or Nationals.  In the Senate there would be extra options including running them as Liberals and Nationals or grouped independents (however the latter would be a bad idea because of voter confusion).  

Party exempt from 1500 members rule that may be affected by names rules

United Australia Party (apparent parent: Seniors United Party)
The eligibility of the UAP to be a parliamentary party hence exempt from the 1500 member rule was confirmed on 7 Sep following the decision of ex-Liberal Craig Kelly to join the party. On 21 Dec, however, the AEC posted a decision taken in November overturning its earlier 9 March decision to deregister the Seniors United Party.  The Seniors United Party had been continuously registered since 2015.  The United Australia Party was registered in 2018, being a successor to the Palmer United Party which was voluntarily deregistered in 2017.  It appears that the SUP may have prior rights to the word "united", but this is clouded by (i) whether the SUP was in fact deregistered then reregistered or whether it has been continuously registered (I believe it's the latter) (ii) whether PUP and UAP are the same party (I am pretty sure they are legally not) (iii) whether SUP survives the requirement to prove 1500 members or is deregistered.  In any case SUP did not object to UAP's name in time for the election.

Parties that have passed the 1500 members test and are unaffected by names rules - eligibility for election confirmed or pending

When new parties are verified as having 1500 members by the AEC their details are then put out for public objections.  In practice the likelihood of a successful objection is low so once a party is listed as "pending" below it is highly likely to make the cut - provided it completes the process before the election is called.  In cases where there is doubt this has been indicated.

Australian Values Party 
(Confirmed. Heston Russell announced application submitted 18 Sep 2021. Advertised for public objections 3 Dec 2021. Registered 18 Jan 2021 after AEC accepted 1526/1650 claimed members for random testing.  The party was allowed 2/33 denials but there were none.) 
David Pocock 
(Confirmed. Launched attempt to get 1500 members for an ACT run 17 Dec 2021.  Social media reports unsurprisingly suggest the high-profile rugby star has way more than that number already so the question in his case was getting through the process in time. Advertised for public objections 11 Feb 2022. Pocock submitted 1579 claimed members of which only 14 were rejected, and was allowed 4/42 denials of membership but had none.) 
Drew Pavlou Democratic Alliance
(Confirmed. Drew Pavlou announced 1500 members reached on 1 Oct 2021. Advertised for public objections 24 Jan 2022. Registered on 28 Feb 22. The AEC accepted 1604/1631 claimed members for random testing. The party was allowed 6/50 denials of membership and had 4.)  
Indigenous-Aboriginal Party of Australia 
(Confirmed. Announced they had reached 1650 members on 13 Sep 2021. Registered 29 Nov 2021 after the AEC accepted 1566 claimed members as eligible for random testing.  The party was allowed four denials of membership out of 42 but all 42 contacted confirmed they were members.)  
Kim for Canberra
 (Confirmed. Kim Rubenstein announced 1500 members reached on 22 Sep 2021. Advertised for public objections 7 Dec 2021. Registered 18 Jan 2021 after AEC accepted 1629/1649 claimed members for random testing.  The party was allowed 7/53 denials but there were none.)  
The Local Party of Australia
(Confirmed. Announced they had reached 1600 members with application pending on 1 Nov 2021. Application advertised 7 Feb 2022.  Registered 9 March after AEC accepted 1535/1568 claimed members for random testing.  The party was allowed 2/33 denials and had exactly that many.)  
TNL (formerly The New Liberals)
(Confirmed. The New Liberals were initially registered under the old rules on 3 June.  They announced on 26 August that they would apply to run under a new name, expected to be "TNL".  On 1 October their application to change their name to "TNL" was published. On 12 November the application was withdrawn, meaning that the party remained registered under the name "The New Liberals" . On 7 Dec it was announced that the Liberal Party had won its internal review against the New Liberals under the existing 129(1)(d) meaning that the original registration of The New Liberals is cancelled and they are removed from the list of registered parties. They would need to both overturn this decision on appeal to the AAT and have the LDP win its case for their ability to use the name New Liberals to be restored. Failing that they will need to apply from scratch under a new name. In response the party announced that while it will continue to self-describe as The New Liberals, it will be applying to register under the name TNL. As of 23 Dec I understand from members that TNL have applied. On 11 Feb 2022 TNL was advertised for public objections and on 18 March they were added to the party register. Of their 1650 claimed members 92 were identified as dual members as well as 30 unmatchable and 1 deceased.  They were then allowed 2 refusals out of 33 on random testing but there were none.)
Voices For the Senate 
(Too slow?  Was to be known as Independent Voices for the Senate but dropped the "Independent".  Independents CAN was a parent party but was deregistered. On 17 Jan 22 I had word that Independent Voices for the Senate, which had a few weeks earlier been still a few hundred members short, had lodged paperwork for registration. On 11 March the party was advertised, but its one-month comment period runs til 11 April, which is the last date on which writs can be issued for a May 14 election. If it is a May 21 election they may just make it.) 

The Indigenous-Australia Party of Australia's original application was being processed when the changes to the law received Royal Assent.  Rather than having to re-apply it was permitted to submit a revised membership list.   

Existing parties believed to or claiming to have 1500 members and who are unaffected by names rules 

Claims by parties to have 1500 names are subject to AEC verification and may not necessarily be correct.

Animal Justice Party
Australian Christians 
Christian Democrats were a parent party but were deregistered. I have moved this party to this section as the AEC has taken no action to deregister it as of 18 March.
 Australian Citizens Party
 I have moved this party to this section as the AEC has taken no action to deregister it as of 18 March.
Australian Democrats @
Appear to have survived.  Members announced list submitted as of early December 2021. On 10 Feb 2022 the AEC announced intention to deregister the party for not having sufficient members.  On 29 March the party was removed from that status, so it appears to have passed at the final attempt.
Australian Federation Party @
Appears to have survived.  AEC announced on 13 Jan 2022 that it was considering deregistering AFP for not having 1500 members.  On 24 March the AFP was removed from the list of parties under consideration for deregistration, so it appears to have passed at the final attempt. 
Federal ICAC Now +
Eligibility confirmed.  Tweeted a letter from the AEC on 9 Feb confirming it had had 1500 members verified.
Informed Medical Options Party + 
I have moved this party to this section as the AEC has taken no action to deregister it as of 18 March.
Legalise Cannabis Australia
Formerly Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP). On 17 Nov, HEMP applied to change its name to Legalise Cannabis Australia.
Reason Australia
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
Socialist Alliance 
Submitted 1650 names on December 2.
Sustainable Australia Party - Stop Overdevelopment/Corruption 
The Great Australian Party
Eligibility confirmed.  Having survived a show-cause under the old rules (see below) the GAP as of 8 December were struggling to get over the bar in time under the new rules, as they appeared to have 1500 names but to be having issues with mismatches with the electoral roll.  A later video was somewhat more relaxed.  On December 13 the GAP reported they had submitted a list of 1574 claimed checked members, after only 866 members were matched in their initial list submitted on Dec 2.  On 10 Feb the GAP posted a letter from the AEC confirming the AEC had decided to maintain their registration.
Western Australia Party + @
Appears to have survived.  The AEC announced on 11 Jan 2022 that it was considering deregistering the WAP for not having 1500 members.  On 30 Mar 2022 the WAP was removed from that status so it appears to have survived testing on the second attempt.

Parties believed to or claiming to have 1500 members and to be affected by names rules

Liberal Democrats (parent: Liberal Party of Australia)

Keeps name via loophole and Liberal tardiness.  The Liberal Democrats sought leave to challenge the party names rules in the High Court.     Papers were lodged on 24 September and a directions hearing was held on 27 Oct.  On 23 Nov the AEC upheld an objection from the Liberal Party, meaning the Liberal Democrats have one month to change their name unless their challenge succeeds. A second directions hearing concerning the content of an agreed special case and whether there was a need for a trial of fact involving expert evidence (mainly concerning the merits of LDP arguments about their performance relative to raw ballot position as opposed to right/left of Liberals) was held on 29 Nov.  A third was scheduled for 1 Dec but appears not to have been heard, as the parties reached a level of agreement on the terms of the special case (in terms of the LDP agreeing that ballot confusion occurred in the 2013 NSW Senate race).  The special case was lodged on 3 Dec. There was be a full court hearing on 15 Feb (initially 8 Feb but date changed) (transcript). The High Court has a main case page here; other documents are available per fee through the DLS portal.  

On 4 Jan the LDP lodged its submissions, claiming (in summary) that the laws impermissibly affected both implied freedom of political communication and the requirement in the Constitution that MPs be "directly chosen by the people".  They argue that the existing limits on confusing party names are sufficient (using the recent overturning of the New Liberals' registration as an argument to that effect) and also that the government could have used Robson Rotation as an alternative.  They also argue that the government's stated justification at the time of passing the changes was inadequate and that arguments about the impact of relative ballot position on the LDP vote do not prove that confusion is the cause, or alternatively do not prove that it operates in one direction only.  

The governments of Western Australia and New South Wales intervened in support of the federal government's position.  A third notice of intervention was posted but its origin remains unknown to me.

On 24 Jan the Commonwealth lodged its submissions.  It claimed (in summary): (i) that the laws do not affect implied freedom in the manner involved in Rowe (impact on the franchise) (ii) that even if the laws do affect implied freedom the Government is entitled to act based on a perceived risk and a conceded example of confusion (2013) (iii) that the impact on the LDP's freedom is minor as it can still call itself "Liberal Democrats", just not on the ballot paper (iv) that the LDP fails to flesh out its Robson Rotation argument (v) that the LDP refers to material that is inadmissible because it wasn't in the Special Case (vi) that the LDP's claim that the existing limits on confusing names are sufficient is incorrect given that the LDP itself is still registered. On 4 Feb the LDP filed a reply mostly covering legal issues around implied freedom.

On 14 Feb the AEC advertised an application from the LDP (which it later turned out was made on 22 Dec 2021) to revert their name to Liberty and Democracy Party and use the abbreviated form Liberty Democrats. 

On 9 March the majority of the Court held that none of the provisions were invalid, meaning that the LDP lose their case and the legislation is valid.  It turned out that the court was split 4-3.

On 4 April there was an unexpected twist - the AEC published that the Liberal Democrats had on 22 March withdrawn their application to change their name and it had therefore been rejected.   At the same time the Liberal Democrats were listed for potential deregistration on account of the withdrawal, which had caused their application to be refused.  The catch is that they now get a month to show cause why they should not be deregistered - but in this time the election will be called, freezing the party register.  Thus they may get to appear as Liberal Democrats one final time, then be deregistered, then reregister under a new name.  If so, the Liberal Party has itself to blame as it took two months to submit an objection notice despite the ability to object being available from early September.  

Victorian Socialists (suspected parent: Socialist Alliance) +

1500 members confirmed.  On 6 Feb the Victorian Socialists posted that they had "successfully maintained our registration" (the AEC does not officially publicly confirm when this is the case).   The Socialist Alliance has shown no sign of objecting to the use of the word "Socialists".

Following the overturning of the original decision to register them, The New Liberals have been moved to the prospective party section under the name TNL. 

Parties of unknown/insufficient size unaffected by names rules

Parties listed below have been deregistered or are at risk of deregistration. Parties believed to have 1500 members based on claims by the party (if I consider those claims credible) or statements in parliament or by sources I consider reliable will be moved to groups above.  

Parties marked + have stated that they are actively seeking to reach 1500 members, or have referenced the 1500 member requirement along with links to join their party, or have actively stepped up membership drive activities since the limit was increased.  Some of the parties below may have 1500 members but have not yet stated so publicly.  

Parties marked # have been listed as of 9 December as parties the AEC is considering deregistering for failing to comply with a notice requesting information about their membership numbers.  

Parties marked @ have been listed as of 11 February, on varying dates, as parties the AEC is considering deregistering for not having 1500 members.  

A strikethrough shows that a party has been deregistered, in which case the date of its demise is shown after the party name.  

Australian Better Families (15/10/21, under previous rules)
Australia First Party (NSW) Incorporated + # (12/1/22, failure to respond)
Australian Affordable Housing Party + # (23/1/22, failure to respond)
Announced on Facebook that it had failed to reach 1500 members by the AEC's deadline (being around 1250), was going to be deregistered but was aiming to reach 1500 in time to reregister for a May election. The party was deregistered 23 Feb 2022.
Australian People's Party (3/11/21, under previous rules)
Australian Progressives @ (initially deregistered 15/3/22 for insufficient membership but overturned and being retested)
Appear to have survived.  A member announced that they submitted a member list as of early December.  However their list of 1532 was found to be 25 short of the first hurdle (13 deceased 44 not matched).  They submitted a second list of 1576, apparently including the original 1532, of which only the AEC could only match 185 members and the party was deregistered.  This sounds very odd indeed and the party immediately lodged an internal appeal and claimed a clerical error by the AEC. On 30 March the deregistration was removed and the party was restored to the list of parties being considered for deregistration.  The party has also announced a merger with the Progressive Labour Party which was deregistered in 2006. 
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) @ (17/3/22, insufficient membership)
I would have assumed the CDP would easily have enough members but on 11 Feb 2022 they were listed as a party the AEC was considering deregistering.  The party did not respond to the AEC's notice to that effect and on 17 March 2022 it was deregistered.  
Climate Emergency Action Alliance: Vote Planet + (Name extinguished following merger 1 Mar 2022).
Announced intention to merge with other parties to form Fusion (see below), 30 Nov 2021.  The merger took effect on 1 Mar 2022.  
Health Australia Party @ (5/4/22, insufficient members)
AEC announced on 18 Jan 2022 that it was considering deregistering Health Australia for not having 1500 members.  The party submitted two lists of 1650 members.  In the first case 1588 were accepted for random testing; the party was allowed 5/46 denials of membership but had 7.  In the second case 1591 were accepted for random testing; the party was again allowed 5/46 denials of membership and again had 7.  The party was deregistered on 5 April.  
Independents CAN # (12/1/22, failure to respond)
As of Dec 4 posted that they were "almost there" but then became subject to an intent to deregister.  Deregistered 12 Jan 2022 for failure to respond.
Love Australia Or Leave + # (12/1/22, failure to respond)
Have posted that they have failed to reach 1500 and will not contest the federal election, and will instead seek to become registered at state level.  
No5G Party @ (23/2/22, insufficient members)
AEC announced on 17 Dec 2021 that it was considering deregistering No5G for not having 1500 members. The party supplied a list of 1063 claimed members and later claimed to have another 125 but was deregistered on 23 Feb 22.
Science Party # (12/1/22, failure to respond)
Announced intention to merge with other parties to form Fusion (see below), 30 Nov 2021. Science Party name subsequently deregistered for failure to respond.
Secular Party of Australia # (11/1/22, voluntary deregistration)
Announced intention to merge with other parties to form Fusion (see below) 30 Nov 2021. Voluntarily deregistered.   
Transport Matters Party (16/12/21, voluntary deregistration)
VOTEFLUX.ORG | Upgrade Democracy @ (24/3/22, insufficient members)
AEC announced on 13 Jan 2022 that it was considering deregistering VOTEFLUX for not having 1500 members.  From an initial list the AEC accepted 1625/1649 for testing.  Voteflux was allowed 7 denials out of 53 but had 9.  Voteflux then submitted a new list of 4680 claimed members.  The AEC tested the first 1650 and accepted 1586.  Voteflux was now allowed 5/46 denials of membership but had a massive 17.  

At the time of the legislation passing, Australian Better Families, Australian People's Party and Great Australian Party were facing existing requirements  to show cause why they should not be deregistered for failing to have 500 members.  The Great Australian Party was removed from that status on 11 October, implying that it has satisfied the AEC that it has 500 members, while Australian Better Families and Australian People's Party were deregistered on 15 Oct and 3 Nov respectively.

Notes re Federal ICAC Now: In theory Australian Federation Party might be a parent but "federation" could be argued to be a collective noun for people.  Federal ICAC Now was an applicant for registration at the time the new laws were passed but cleared all hurdles on the day the Act received Royal Assent and hence while the old Act was still operating.  

Parties of unknown/insufficient size that are potentially affected by names rules

Parties listed below are potentially facing the "double whammy" although in some cases parent parties may not object to their names.  They will be moved to the lists above if there is evidence that they are unaffected in one way or both.

Parties marked + have stated that they are actively seeking to reach 1500 members, or have referenced the 1500 member requirement along with links to join their party.  Some of the parties below may have 1500 members but have not yet stated so publicly.  Parties marked @ are being considered for deregistration.

Democratic Labour Party (parent: Australian Labor Party) @ (4 Mar 2022, insufficient members)
On 19 Nov 2021 the AEC upheld an objection from the Australian Labor Party to the DLP's continuing use of their name. The DLP have one month from that date to apply for a change of name unless the law is overturned. The DLP unsuccessfully applied for internal review (rejected 9 Feb 22) claiming that "Labour" is a collective word for people, but have not joined the LDP's legal case.  On 27 Jan 2022 the AEC issued a notice saying it was considering deregistering the DLP for failing to have 1500 members.  On 4 March 2022 the AEC published a notice saying that the DLP was deregistered.  1572/1650 claimed members were accepted for random testing and the DLP was allowed 4 denials out of 42.  However 14 of 42 claimed members denied membership.  The DLP unsuccessfully tried to contest the decision on grounds including that the matter was before the courts.  However the 1500 member limit is not before the courts.  
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party (parent: Animal Justice Party) @
Eligibility confirmed.  DHJP issued a video on 15 November 2021 stating that it had around 2000 members but was concerned about its ability to prove 1500 to appropriate formal full name and address standards and was therefore seeking more members to be sure of clearing the bar.  However the AEC subsequently issued a notice on 17 December that it was considering deregistering DHJP, suggesting that the party had failed verification of its list (it has one more chance). After a long wait the party was removed from the possible deregistration list on 10 April, DHJP having posted two days earlier on Facebook that it had survived.  While the AJP could in theory object to DHJP's name there has been no suggestion it will do so.   
Seniors United Party @ (possible parent but I think more likely the other way round: United Australia Party)
Appears to have survived.  This party was deregistered under the old rules in March but the deregistration was set aside in November by a decision published in December.  See United Australia Party section re possible parent status, subject to remaining registered.  On 25 March 2022 the AEC filed a notice of intent to deregister the SUP for failing to respond to a registration-related notice but the SUP will not be deregistered in time for the 2022 election.
Socialist Equality Party (parent: Socialist Alliance) +@ (23 Feb 2022, insufficient members)
On 10 Dec 2021 a propaganda outlet linked to the party reported that it had not submitted 1500 names by 2 Dec.  On 17 Dec the AEC issued a notice saying it was considering deregistering SEP for failing to have 1500 members. The party supplied a list of 700 claimed members but was deregistered on 23 Feb 22.

Prospective parties aiming to become registered/reregistered that have displayed awareness of the new 1500 member limit

These prospective or former parties are not currently registered but are known to be trying to build up numbers to 1500+ or have actively stepped up membership drives.  Note that claims to have reached membership numbers are unverified as the AEC has yet to vet them.  

Note also that some deregistered parties listed above with strikethrough may be seeking to re-register after being deregistered.   

As of late March, none of the remaining parties can be registered in time for the election.

(Too slow or not trying.  This is the very far-right party of Riccardo Bosi.  I received a glossy letterbox flier for it in Jan 2022, followed later the same day by another one and an invitation to an event.  Unclear if trying to build members for registration purposes specifically, although has stated this as an aim publicly in the past.) 
No Mandatory Vaccination
(Too slow.  The West Australian reported on 7 Jan 2022 that this party's attempt to register had been delayed by fake membership applications, including (according to the party) from Wesley College students.)
People First Party 
(Attempt aborted? As of 2 Oct 2021, told me they were in the process of verifying 1500 members prior to applying, but nothing further heard since and website is offline, so I think attempt has been abandoned. Australia First was a parent party but was deregistered.) 
Team Baz Party
(No cigar. Prospective party of TV personality Barry du Bois.  Announced fairly early in the piece but nothing seen re member numbers or further action.  du Bois subsequently withdrew from the election entirely for health and family reasons.)
Sensible Centre Party/Small Business Party nexus 
(Too slow.  The Small Business Party of Angela Vithoulkas was deregistered on 23 August, just before the new legislation was passed, because it had failed to prove that it had 500 members (it had one more failure on the AEC's generous random testing than allowed).  Vithoulkas is however also the authoriser for the Twitter account of the Sensible Centre Party which also involves well-known party-hopper Vern Hughes.  Both the SCP and the SBP are seeking registrations and the SCP Facebook page posts registration ads for the SBP.  Further adding to the confusion an SCP candidate for Victorian Senate has self-announced, and a comment on the SCP Facebook page says "Yes, several parties are combining under one umbrella."  The word "centre" is preoccupied by the Centre Alliance so SCP cannot use it without their permission.  Hughes ended up hopping to yet another party as lead Victorian Senate candidate for Australian Federation Party.)  
Trumpet of Patriots
 (Application lodged but not enough members.  Added Nov 15 2022 - I was unaware of this one but this was a party seeking to register that was  unable to register in time as too many of the names it submitted could not be matched to the roll.  Ultimately formed an alliance with Australian Federation Party with many intending Trumpet of Patriots candidates running for AFP at the election.)
Women's Rights And Gender Equity Party
(Application lodged but too slow and not enough members. WRAGE for short.  Freelance writer and journalist Jane Gilmore launched a run for Victorian Senate, initially under the name Fix It Party, on 14 Jan 2022.  Still needed "just under 200 names" as of 27 Jan, and 26 as of 7 Feb.  Paperwork submitted 17 Feb.  Will not be advertised in time,  Gilmore had said she will run as an independent if not registered in time, but has since withdrawn citing Section 44 issues. UPDATE NOV 15: The AEC ultimately rejected WRAGE's application as they submitted only exactly 1500 names, some of which were unmatched or members of other parties.)  
Party formed by merger

FUSION: Science, Pirate, Secular, Climate Emergency
 Fusion is a merged party consisting of the the former Science Party, Secular Party, Pirate Party (recently voluntarily deregistered) and Climate Emergency Action Alliance: Vote Planet, and formally accomplished by renaming the latter.  On 30 November these parties announced that they would merge, citing the 1500 member limit. The merger was accomplished by changing the name of the existing Vote Planet party to the above, with effect 1 March after an application was published on 25 Jan. An ACT-registered party Australian Climate Justice has also joined the merger. Because the party was still in the process of changing its name, members of the merged party were at one stage being asked by the AEC to confirm membership of the Climate Emergency Action Alliance: Vote Planet party.  

Prospective parties that were aiming to register but have given up apparently because of the 1500 member rule

Australia's Representatives
This prospective party started by a founder of the original Family First applied under the old        rules and passed initial consideration (after having its logo rejected) on 27 August 2021, days before the 1500 member rule came into effect.  It failed to respond to a notice due 21 December 2021, by which time it had given up and redirected its website to the Australian Federation Party's.  The party's founder, Peter Harris, ran as the AFP candidate for Boothby and "Federal Leader" of the party.
Reignite Democracy Australia Party
This prospective party applied under the old rules.  Following the increased membership requirement it emailed saying that it did not wish to continue but did not return a form to formally confirm such.  Its application was refused in Feb 2022.
Steve Mav Team 
Mav, a serial candidate and former Glenorchy alderman, polled 1% as an ungrouped Tasmanian independent in 2019 in a very expensive campaign which nonetheless netted him the highest vote for an ungrouped state (not territory) candidate since 1974.  He was trying to register an above the line party but has instead joined One Nation and been endorsed as their lead Senate candidate.

See also


  1. Steve Mav seems quite upset about this, which can only mean it's a good thing!

  2. The Indigenous Australia Party reportedly have 1500+ members as per their Facebook page.

    1. Thankyou! Note added. Good effort by them if correct.

  3. The Derryn Hinch/Animal Justice Party thing amuses me.

  4. Science Party, Pirate Party (de-registered recently), Secular Party, and Climate Emergency Action Alliance announced they're merging into one party called "Fusion" due to not being able to have 1500 members.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.


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