Registering a Political Party

Constitutional and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Equality) Act 2021

On 24 November 2021, the Constitutional and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Equality) Act 2021 received Royal Assent. Further information concerning the changes to party registration is available from the following fact sheet, Party Registration - Changes to the Electoral Act 1907.

The Western Australian Electoral Commission is currently updating guidance on party registration to reflect the changes. For further information, contact the Commission via email to fad@waec.wa.gov.au

 

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).


Names of political parties
The name must not:

  • contain more than 4 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"
  • include capitals other than the first letter of each word
  • 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
  • declarations of party membership, completed and signed by the members
  • a copy of the party's constitution
  • any other prescribed information.
  • a $2,000 non-refundable application fee

Applications for registration will be determined in the order in which they are received.

The application process takes approximately four months to complete. The Commission assesses the application 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.

Forms
Forms are currently being updated to reflect the provisions enacted by the Constitutional and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Equality) Act 2021. Please contact the Commission. 

Political Party member list template (XLTX, 13 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
  • the party is not a parliamentary party and is no longer eligible to be registered
  • 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.
  • the party has failed to lodge an annual return for continued registration. 


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.