Political parties are eligible for registration if they have at least 500 members who are electors and have a constitution that specifies as one of its objects or activities the promotion of the election to the Parliament of the State of a candidate or endorsed candidates. Members may include members of related parties when one is part of the other or both are parts of the same political party. Legislation for the registration of political parties is contained in Part IIIA of the Electoral Act 1907 (external site).
For detailed information regarding the registration of new political parties, see registering a political party guidelines (PDF 426 KB).
Names of political parties
The name must not:
- contain more than 6 words
- be obscene or offensive
- be an existing party name or nearly resemble a party name
- be a public body name, or nearly resemble a public body name
- include the words "royal" or "independent"
- otherwise cause confusion if registered.
The application process
An application for registration is to be submitted by the secretary of the party to the Electoral Commissioner, and include:
- the name of the political party
- an abbreviation of the party name for use on ballot papers, if applicable
- the name and address of the secretary
- the names and addresses of at least 500 members who are electors
- a copy of the party's constitution
- any other prescribed information.
Applications for registration will be determined in the order in which they are received.
The application process takes approximately three months to complete. The Commission completes two tests (electoral roll and membership verification) to satisfy that the party may be eligible for registration before placing a notice for the party registration in the Government Gazette and a newspaper circulating generally in the State.
The public notice sets out the name and abbreviation of the party, as well as the name and address of the Party Secretary. The notice also invites any elector who believes that the application is not in accordance with the Electoral Act 1907 to lodge a statement with the Electoral Commissioner within one month of the notice.
If a statement of objection is received from an elector, provided it is not frivolous, the Commission will invite the applicant to submit a reply statement to the Commissioner.
An applicant is registered provided, considering all statements and replies, the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that the application is compliant with the legislation.
Registering a political party guidelines (PDF 426 KB)
FD 14 – Application to register a political party (PDF 136 KB)
FD 15 – Statement of party membership (PDF 125 KB)
Cancellations of Registered Parties
The Electoral Commissioner may cancel the registration of a political party at the request of the secretary or for any of the following reasons:
- the party no longer exists
- it is not a parliamentary party and does not have at least 500 members who are electors
- a registered party has failed to endorse a candidate in a general election subsequent to registration
- registration was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation
- a return required under Part VI (political finance) by the agent for that party has been outstanding more than twelve months.
Review of decisions
Any person affected by the Electoral Commissioner's decision on registration, refusal of registration, cancellation of a registration or amendment of registration may apply in writing to the Supreme Court for a review of the decision within one month.