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 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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
The AEC may de-register a party on the following grounds: