This section provides information about the difference between registered and unregistered parties at a general election.
At a general election registered parties:
- contest the party vote and submit a party list and stand electorate candidates
- have a party logo next to the party and candidate names on the ballot paper
- receive funding for tv, radio and internet advertising
- have separate spending limits for party advertising at a general election
- must keep records of expenses, donations and loans
- must file an audited expense return after a general election and an audited donations and loans return every year
Compare what registered and unregistered parties can do here.
Guidance for registered parties can be accessed in the party portal.
At a general election unregistered parties:
- can stand electorate candidates
- the party’s name can appear on the ballot paper below the candidate’s name
- any candidate election advertising the party pays for published during the regulated period counts towards the candidate’s spending limit
More information about the rules for candidates standing for unregistered parties can be found here.
Most registered parties operate independently and contest the party vote and/or electorate seats.
However, the Electoral Act allows parties to jointly contest general elections by allowing one or more parties (that can be registered or unregistered) to be a component party of another registered party.
The Electoral Act defines a component party as a political party that is a member of the registered party or the applicant party (the umbrella party), or a political party that has combined some or all of its membership with that of another political party and thereby formed the registered party or the applicant party or augmented the membership of such a party.
As the definition suggests, there are different ways that a component party/umbrella party situation can arise.
- several unregistered parties could unite under an umbrella and the umbrella party registers to contest the party vote
- registered parties could unite under an umbrella party
- a combination of registered and unregistered parties could unite under an umbrella party
- a registered party could become part of another registered party.
- If a new umbrella party is formed, the new party must apply to be registered and must include a declaration that it has component parties. The new party must meet all the requirements for registration, including providing evidence that it has at least 500 current financial members.