Small Parties, Big Changes: The Evolution of Minor Parties Elected to the Australian Senate

Zareh Ghazarian

Minor parties, sometimes referred to as small parties, have been the subject of much interest, especially in European political systems where they have often been crucial in forming coalition governments. In recent years, however, there has been growing interest in minor parties in Australia. This was not always the case as it was the major parties which were the centre of political attention. This is understandable given Australia follows the Westminster system where the government is formed by the party (or parties) that wins a majority of seats in the lower house. The Australian parliamentary system, however, has a powerful Senate.1 Indeed, the Senate has almost all the powers of the House of Representatives. Furthermore, a bill must be passed by both houses in order to become law. Aside from its structural importance, the Senate is the chamber in which minor parties have won parliamentary representation, sometimes wielding the balance of power and exerting significant influence over the policies of governments.

The following discussion will explore the rise of minor parties in Australia, with particular emphasis on the parties that won seats in the Senate in the post-war period. It will highlight the significant changes to the type of minor party winning Senate representation over the last seven decades, especially in terms of their sources of mobilisation and the role they seek to play in the political debate. I aim to show how newer minor parties are qualitatively different to older minor parties.

Minor parties elected from the 1950s to 1983 were the result of major party fragmentation. They had policy platforms but positioned themselves as either opponents or ‘watchdogs’ of the major parties. Minor parties elected from 1984, however, advanced a specific policy agenda linked to broader social movements. This evolution in the type of minor party elected to the Senate has implications for party competition, national government and policy outcomes. In highlighting the changing type of minor party winning Senate representation, I hope to construct an analytical framework to understand the role and power of minor parties in contemporary Australian politics.

This discussion will examine parties in the chronological order in which they were elected to the Senate, starting in 1949, when the voting system of proportional representation was used for the first time, and including the most recent election in 2016. It draws on information obtained through interviews I conducted with parliamentarians, office-bearers and supporters of minor parties, as well as from official party documents, media reports and academic analyses. In some cases, I use pseudonyms to maintain the anonymity requested by those who generously gave their time and discussed their thoughts and feelings about minor parties in Australia.

The rules of the game

As Maurice Duverger reminds us, the electoral system can shape the party system.2 This has implications for the ability of minor parties to win Senate contests. Prior to 1949, a ‘winner takes all’ system of voting was used to elect senators. From the first federal election in March 1901—which was for the whole Senate—up to and including the half-Senate election in May 1917, the system was ‘multi-senator-plurality’.3 This resulted in lopsided outcomes in which either the government or opposition parties dominated the chamber.

In 1948, the Chifley Labor government enacted the single transferable vote (STV) method of proportional representation for Senate elections.4 This change was to have a significant impact on subsequent Senate elections.5 In 1983, the Hawke government made further changes to the Senate voting system. These reforms, which first applied to the federal election in 1984, also had a profound effect on subsequent Senate contests.6 As shown in Table 1, twelve minor parties have won Senate representation in the 33 years since the reforms, compared to just three minor parties over a similar period prior to the reforms.

In 2016, the Turnbull government responded to growing calls to reform the Senate electoral system after new minor parties, especially the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, were able to claim Senate seats with a very small primary vote. Under the reform, voters are no longer required to give preferences to all candidates.

Instead, voters needed to indicate their first six parties or groups in order of preference above the line on the ballot paper, or at least 12 candidates if voting below the line.

Table 1: Minor parties elected to the Australian Senate since introduction of proportional representation

Minor party Year first Senate seat won
Democratic Labor Party (DLP)* 1955
Liberal Movement 1974
Australian Democrats 1977
Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP) 1984
WA Greens 1990
Australian Greens 1996
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation 1998
Family First 2004
‘New’ DLP 2010
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 2013
Palmer United Party (PUP) 2013
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (AMEP) 2013
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party 2016
Nick Xenophon Team 2016
Jacqui Lambie Network 2016

*Originally called the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist).

The ‘old’ minor party type: the ‘secessionists’

The Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist), which was later renamed the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), was the first minor party to break the major party monopoly in the Senate. It won its first seat in the Senate in 1955. The party came about as a result of a dispute within the Australian Labor Party (ALP) over the issue of perceived communist influence in its ranks.7 The DLP positioned itself as an anti-communist force and its hostility towards communism underpinned its policy ethos, especially in the areas of foreign affairs, defence and public policy.8 Moreover, the DLP positioned itself as an explicitly anti-Labor Party. In fact, the party stated this by describing its purpose as a ‘road block…across the ALP’s path and so deny it the fruits of office’.9 Moreover, the party sought to ‘wage a war of attrition against the ALP and so compel it to break its communist connections and again become the acceptable alternative’ party of government.10

The DLP won seats until the 1970 election. It continually opposed Labor in electoral terms and sided with the coalition in the Senate on questions of policy.11 The party placed greater emphasis on promoting socially conservative moral policies throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, but its principal objective remained as being an anti-Labor Party.12 However, after failing to win seats following the 1970 election, the DLP disintegrated. The party re-formed in Victoria in the 1980s and, as will be discussed later, returned to the Senate in 2010, albeit with a different source of mobilisation and raison d’etre.

While the DLP was in the Senate, the Liberal Reform Group emerged in 1966. The group later became the Australia Party and was made up of ‘disillusioned Liberals’13 who were united by their opposition to the Vietnam War, as well as to the DLP’s presence in the Senate. The Australia Party gained significant attention in the political debate but was unable to win a Senate seat at a general election.14

The next minor party to win Senate representation was the Liberal Movement, a party which resulted from a split within the Liberal and Country League (LCL) in South Australia. It was led by the South Australian LCL Premier Steele Hall, who had sought to modernise the operation and policy agenda of the LCL.15 Hall had also embarked on a campaign to reform the state’s malapportioned electoral system, from which his party had benefitted. Hall’s changes to the electoral system contributed to the LCL’s state election loss in 1970, making his position as leader untenable. He resigned from the party and created the Liberal Movement as a faction within the LCL in order to pursue a ‘centrist’ program in opposition to the LCL’s socially conservative policies.16 Eventually Hall and his supporters split from the LCL to formally set up the Liberal Movement Party.17 Hall stood as the lead Senate candidate in South Australia at the 1975 double dissolution election and won the party’s first seat in federal parliament.18 He promised to keep the major parties accountable while pursuing ‘middle-of-the-road’ policies. This approach caused The Australian newspaper to label him a ‘fence-sitting enigma’.19

While Hall returned to the Liberal Party in 1976, the Liberal Movement’s brief presence in the Senate had a longer lasting legacy for the role minor parties could play in the chamber. It demonstrated how a ‘centrist’ party could act as an intermediary between the major parties in the Senate. Indeed, the Liberal Movement set the template for the next minor party to have a significant presence in the Senate—the Australian Democrats.

The Australian Democrats

The Australian Democrats refined the Liberal Movement’s idea of being a ‘watchdog’. This was most explicitly declared with the party’s mantra—coined before the 1980 election—to ‘keep the bastards honest’. The Democrats was formed by former Liberal minister Don Chipp and two groups—The Australia Party and the New Liberal Movement20—which like Chipp had broken away from the Liberal Party. Chipp, who resigned from the Liberal Party after serving as a sitting member in the House of Representatives from 1960, had built a public profile as a proponent of ‘centrist’ policies, especially during his time as Minister for Customs.21

The onset of the constitutional crisis played a crucial role in the emergence of the Democrats. The crisis occurred as the result of a battle in the Senate between the major parties—the ALP and the Liberal–Country Party Coalition—that eschewed concerns for constitutional conventions as both sides sought to secure executive power.22 In the aftermath of the crisis, in which Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was dismissed by the Governor-General Sir John Kerr, there was growing interest in alternatives to the major-party dominance of the parliament and this revived interest in a centrist party.23

By 1976, Chipp had begun to lay the groundwork for a new party and in 1977 he officially launched the Australian Democrats. Remnants of The Australia Party, the New Liberal Movement and some Liberal Party members, who had similar ‘disenchanted’ views to Chipp, either joined the party or offered support.24 The Democrats also incorporated broad policy pillars which reflected the ideals of particular social movements, especially environmental and socially progressive policies.25 In the early years of its existence, however, the party focused on positioning itself as a ‘watchdog’ and ‘umpire’ of the major parties in the Senate.26 The party did this most effectively when it held the balance of power in the chamber and in Senate committees where it could carefully scrutinise the decisions of major parties.

Accounting for the early minor parties

A common feature of the three minor parties elected to the Senate from 1955 to 1983 is that they were created as a result of major party fragmentation. Parties that have emerged in this way are not unique to Australia. Studies of European systems, for example, have highlighted how new minor parties emerged after disputes over policy or personality within larger parties. In classifying these parties, Australian scholars have argued they be thought of as ‘secessionist’ parties.27 An important feature of these parties in the Australian case is the role they sought to play in the political system. They had policies—the DLP advocated socially conservative policies, while the Liberal Movement and Democrats had socially progressive goals. Nonetheless, they mainly used their position in the political system either to frustrate and block the ALP from gaining government (in the case of the DLP) or to act as centrist ‘watchdogs’ of the major parties (in the case of the Liberal Movement and Democrats). The next wave of minor parties to win Senate representation rejected this approach of focusing on major parties. Rather, they sought to advance their own policy agenda in parliament.

The rise of these newer minor parties coincided with changes to the electoral system brought about by the Hawke government in 1983. These reforms, which were first used in the 1984 election, included increasing the number of senators for each state from ten to twelve. This was because the government sought to increase the size of the House of Representatives from 125 to 148 members and thus triggered the ‘nexus’ provision in section 24 of the Constitution.28 The increase in the number of senators to be elected for each state reduced the percentage of the vote needed to achieve a quota from 9.1 per cent in full-Senate elections to 7.7 per cent. In a general election, when only half the Senate is elected, the quota fell from 16.6 to 14.4 per cent. The significance of this reform was that it reduced the electoral task confronting minor parties.29

A Group Ticket Vote (GTV) was also implemented. The government described this as a much simpler method of voting for the Senate. By simply indicating their first preference, voters would have their preferences distributed by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in accordance with the voting ticket lodged by their preferred party.30 The rate of GTV was especially high (between 98 and 99 per cent) for electors voting for the major parties. The introduction of the GTV meant that ‘wheeling and dealing’ of preferences would be a crucial feature of Senate contests.31 The Hawke reforms also introduced election funding which allowed candidates to receive funding if they won at least four per cent of the primary vote. This measure was designed to encourage new minor parties to stand for election as the state would effectively subsidise their campaigns if they won enough votes.

The rise of a new type of minor party: issues-oriented parties from the left

The changes to the electoral system coincided with the election of the first of the new type of minor party in 1984—the Nuclear Disarmament Party (NDP). The NDP emerged from community opposition to uranium mining and concerns about Australia’s foreign policy, especially Australia’s relationship with the United States.32 The NDP began to mobilise when the ALP overturned its policies on nuclear issues at the party’s federal conference in July 1984.33 Concerned about Labor’s policy direction, a small group of people based in Canberra created the NDP. The nascent party agreed to have only three policies—banning nuclear weapons in Australian territory, prohibiting foreign bases in Australia, and halting the mining and export of uranium.34

Within a few months the party gained thousands of members, including Peter Garrett, the lead singer of rock band Midnight Oil, and had a presence in all Australian jurisdictions. Concerned that the new party would diminish its own electoral performance, the ALP in NSW used the GTV system to run a ‘put the NDP last’ campaign. While Peter Garrett, who was the NDP’s lead Senate candidate in NSW, won almost 10 per cent of the primary vote, the party missed out on winning a seat because of Labor’s tactics. In Western Australia, however, the NDP was not seen as much of a threat by the major parties and was able to win Senate representation on the back of ALP preferences.

Despite its success, the NDP soon split over internal disputes concerning its operation and organisation.35 The party managed to win a seat in NSW in the double dissolution election in 1987, even though it won just 1.5 per cent of the state’s primary vote. On this occasion the NDP benefitted from the halving of the quota as well as the fact that the ALP did not deprive the party of crucial preferences.

The emergence of the NDP marked an important change in the type of minor party elected to the Senate. The source of the NDP’s mobilisation was different to that of earlier minor parties. Rather than emerging as the direct result of major party fragmentation, the NDP sought to advance a specific policy agenda and had clear links to the broader peace, disarmament and anti-nuclear movements. The NDP was also the precursor to subsequent ‘green’ parties.

Following the demise of the NDP in the late 1980s, a new party, the Vallentine Peace Group, was created in Western Australia. It was led by Jo Vallentine who had won the Western Australian Senate seat for the NDP in 1984. The Vallentine Peace Group was clearly a continuation of the NDP in Western Australia given the bulk of its membership consisted of former NDP members.36 Vallentine stood as the lead Senate candidate for the new party at the 1987 election. She was returned to parliament after winning almost five per cent of the primary vote and ‘wheeling and dealing’ preferences effectively.

By 1990, the WA Greens had been created by melding the Vallentine Peace Group with other green groups and parties in the state.37 The WA Greens went on to win Senate seats in the federal election of 1990 with Jo Vallentine as the lead candidate, and again in 1993 following Vallentine’s resignation, with a policy platform linked to the peace, disarmament and environmental movements.38

The Australian Greens joined the WA Greens in the Senate in 1996 when Bob Brown won the party’s first Senate seat in Tasmania. The origins of the Australian Greens can be traced back to the United Tasmania Group, the first ‘green’ party in the world.39 The Australian Greens was a separate entity to the WA Greens and was linked to various conservation movements.40 The party’s platform was concerned with protecting natural resources, and it promoted a suite of socially progressive policies.41 In 2003, the WA Greens was incorporated into the confederation of the Australian Greens and in subsequent elections the party consolidated its position in the Senate.

Issues-oriented minor parties from the right: One Nation and Family First

The election of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party to the Senate in 1998 was a significant development given minor parties elected since 1984 had been from what would be considered the left of the political spectrum. One Nation, on the other hand, was from the political right. The party was built around Pauline Hanson, whom the Liberal Party had disendorsed in 1996 following comments she made about race and immigration.42 Hanson attracted significant support as an ‘anti-system’ politician and quickly created a party which posed a significant electoral challenge to the major parties, especially the John Howard coalition government.43

One Nation corresponded to the populist right party type.44 Like other populist right politicians, Hanson presented seemingly simple proposals to deal with complex policy issues. Moreover, Hanson was a charismatic figure and her core message resonated with sections of the electorate feeling disenchanted with the policies of the major parties.45 One Nation won its only Senate seat in Queensland in the 1998 election, securing more than a quota in its own right. The party could have won seats in other states had the major parties not used the GTV to preference One Nation last. When the party left the Senate in 2004 it had all but collapsed and Hanson was looking like a spent force.46

Hanson, however, kept chipping away. She contested subsequent elections, not always as a One Nation candidate, and remained a prominent figure in the political debate by regularly appearing in the media as a commentator. By 2016, Hanson had rejoined One Nation and mounted a modest campaign with 27 candidates. Placing emphasis on themes she had campaigned on 20 years ago, Hanson also called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to Australia as well as a royal commission into Islam. In the Senate contest the party won a national primary vote of 4.3 per cent. In Queensland, Hanson returned to parliament after winning 9.2 per cent of the primary vote which equated to 1.2 of a quota. In Western Australia, the One Nation Party won 4 per cent of the primary vote which equated to 0.52 of a quota, a similar result to NSW. One Nation ended up winning Senate seats in Western Australia and NSW thanks to the flow of preferences.

The Family First Party, another party from the political right, won Senate representation for the first time in 2004. The party advanced a socially conservative policy agenda and had links to Assemblies of God churches, which led to debates about whether it was a ‘religious party’.47 It promoted the concept of the ‘nuclear’ family and opposed laws that would give same-sex couples access to IVF treatment and adoption. The party also promoted ideas it believed would strengthen the country’s ‘values’. For example, it opposed euthanasia and pornography. Moreover, Family First had a deep suspicion of the Australian Greens and its suite of socially progressive policies, especially concerning gender identity and harm minimisation approaches for drug users.

Even though it secured just 1.9 per cent of the primary vote, Family First won its Victorian Senate seat thanks to Labor Party preferences. The party, however, could not consolidate its position in the 2007 and 2010 elections, primarily as it was deprived of major party preferences. Family First was, however, able to return to the Senate in 2013. The focal point of the party was Bob Day who was the lead Senate candidate in South Australia. He directed a more centralised approach to campaigning and discouraged candidates from communicating directly with the media. Instead, candidates were instructed to direct inquiries to the party’s website. Candidates were also advised to avoid media appearances so that they would not overshadow the public profile of the wider party. Despite winning just 4 per cent of the statewide primary vote, Bob Day managed to secure a Senate seat as a result of shrewd preference deals. The fact that the Greens directed preferences to Family First underscores this, although the Greens party was primarily seeking to safeguard its own electoral prospects rather than supporting Family First. Bob Day was returned in the 2016 double dissolution election.

A party back from the dead: the ‘new’ DLP

In 2010, as One Nation and Family First were in a state of rebuilding, the Democratic Labor Party won a Victorian Senate seat. Returning to the upper house 40 years after leaving the chamber was a remarkable feat for a party many considered to be dead in Australian politics. But the ‘new’ DLP was qualitatively different to the party of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The party had shifted its position in the political system. It no longer sought to act as a roadblock to Labor. Nor did it seek to rail against the threat of communism. The primary focus of the reconstituted DLP was to advance issues closely associated with socially conservative movements.

While previously the DLP had sought to highlight its socially conservative moral credentials, especially in the 1972 election, in 2010 it advanced issues that were closely aligned to broad social movements. These included the ‘right to life’ movement, with which it had significantly strengthened its links during its reformative period.48 The party also opposed pornography, the use of IVF by single women and lesbians, euthanasia, fertility control and same-sex marriage. It supported a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on illicit drugs and stem cell research. Even though the party won just 2.3 per cent of the statewide primary vote, it secured a Senate seat through preference swaps. Using the GTV to its advantage, of course, was not an option available to the DLP in its earlier incarnation.

More ‘issues-oriented’ minor parties from the right: Liberal Democrats, the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party and the Palmer United Party

The 2013 election was significant for the minor party system because an unprecedented number of new parties won representation. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (AMEP) and the Palmer United Party (PUP) all won seats for the first time. These parties resembled right populist parties, especially because of their distinctive organisational arrangements and policy platforms.

The LDP emerged in the ACT in 2001, but took a more sophisticated approach to elections when David Leyonhjelm, a former vet, became the party’s treasurer and registered officer. Leyonhjelm had a long history in politics having been a member of the Labor Party in the 1970s and the Liberal Party in the 1980s. He was also chairman of the Shooters Party in NSW in the early 2000s. Leyonhjelm was integral to restructuring the party. The LDP’s first electoral forays in the ACT were disastrous and the party experienced difficulty with the Australian Electoral Commission when it sought to become a national party. The AEC argued the party’s name was too similar to the Australian Democrats and the Liberal Party. Leyonhjelm and the national executive agreed to change the party’s name to the Liberty and Democracy Party. In 2008, the party changed its name to the Liberal Democratic Party (Liberal Democrats) and, despite objections from the Liberal Party and the Australian Democrats, the AEC allowed the party to use this name in future elections.

The Liberal Democrats’ principles were based on classical liberalism and advanced notions of free trade, freedom of choice, and support for small government. As a result the party supported policies such as euthanasia, the use of cannabis, and same-sex marriage. It also promoted the right of all citizens to own firearms, as well as ending prosecutions for victimless crimes, which it defined as illegal but which did not threaten the rights of anyone else. These included ‘crimes’ such as abortion, public nudity and the consumption of pornography.49

The LDP’s 2013 campaign was built on a sophisticated approach to using the GVT. The party attracted preferences from a range of minor parties through preference deals. As well, Leyonhjelm was a controlling force in the Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens) and the Smokers’ Rights Party which assisted the LDP in winning Senate representation by way of directing their preferences to Leyonhjelm.50

The Palmer United Party was created just before the 2013 election. The party was established by businessman Clive Palmer who had a lengthy history in coalition politics. He was media spokesman for Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen in the 1980s and was involved with the ‘Joh for Canberra’ campaign in 1987. A life member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP), Palmer’s advance towards a parliamentary career began in 2012 when he tried to become the LNP’s candidate in the seat of Lilley in order to stand against then treasurer Wayne Swan. Within a few weeks, Palmer decided he could not support the coalition’s asylum seeker policy and withdrew from the contest. He also became highly critical of the economic policies of LNP Queensland state government and the influence of lobbyists on government policy. He subsequently resigned from the LNP.

Freed from the constraints of party discipline, Palmer became a regular contributor to the political debate and often appeared in the media. With apparent support for his innovative proposals to solve policy problems, especially from his home state of Queensland, Palmer began to build momentum as a political force. He built a high public profile and presented himself as an anti-system figure. He created his new party with the aim of ‘tak[ing] away the game from professional politicians who say the same thing’.51 As leader of his new Palmer United Party, he branded the established parties boring because they had the same broad social and economic policies. Central to Palmer’s new party were policies aimed at reducing income tax, stimulating the economy and reducing the size of government. Concurrently, the PUP advocated policies to increase the age pension and change the offshore processing of asylum seekers on the grounds that it wasted taxpayer funds.

Palmer’s core message resonated with sections of the electorate feeling disenchanted with the policies of the major parties. He reportedly funded the PUP’s $12 million federal campaign. The party was so well resourced it reportedly outspent Labor in advertising in the final week of the campaign. PUP contested every lower house seat and fielded candidates in every state and territory. It won a national primary vote in the lower house of 5.5 per cent, which made it the fourth best performing party behind the major parties and the Greens. Moreover, Palmer won the coalition-held lower house seat of Fairfax, which was a remarkable result for a new party.

PUP also claimed Senate seats in Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland after attracting a national vote of 4.9 per cent at the general election. Its best result was in Queensland, where it won 9.9 per cent of the primary vote. The party also benefited from preferences directed to it from the Australian Greens, which believed the PUP’s asylum seeker policy was more humane than the policies of the major parties. While Palmer attracted much media attention, the PUP quickly disintegrated with two of its senators, Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus, resigning from the party. Electoral support for PUP fell and it failed to consolidate its position in the Senate at the 2016 election.

Like the PUP, the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party also emerged just before the 2013 election. Unlike the PUP, the party had limited resources and a very low public profile during the campaign. The party was concerned with advancing a broad range of social and economic goals that supported ‘average Australians’. For example, the party was committed to protecting notions of mateship and community, while also seeking to lower taxation.

The party’s views on the role of government provided further insight into its overall position in the political debate. The party aimed for smaller government with minimal interference in social and economic issues. An underlying sense that the major parties had abandoned average Australians was also apparent in the AMEP’s policy outlook. Indeed, the party stated that it arose in response to ‘the realisation that the rights and civil liberties of every-day[sic] Australians are being eroded at an ever increasing rate’ and promised to ‘bring focus back to the notion that the Government is there for the people, not, as it increasingly appears, the other way around’.52 The party also sought to safeguard the ‘Australian way of life’ from the policies of ‘irresponsible’ minorities.53 The party, therefore, was mobilised by motoring enthusiasts but also sought to attract those who were dissatisfied with the policies of the established parties.

The AMEP won just 0.5 per cent of the primary vote in the Senate in Victoria but its candidate, Ricky Muir, secured a seat. This was primarily due to the sophisticated preference deals suggested by political consultant Glenn Druery. Indeed in 2013, Druery, who advised interested minor parties how to best maximise their electoral prospects, met with what he called the ‘minor party alliance’, which comprised new minor parties unsure about how to best organise their preference flows. By following Druery’s advice, the AMEP was able to attract preferences from a range of minor parties which helped it claim its Senate seat.

The 2016 entrants: the Nick Xenophon Team, Jacqui Lambie Network and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

The 2016 double dissolution election resulted in the most diverse range of parties entering the Senate in the postwar era. In addition to the major parties and the Greens, there were the Liberal Democrats, Family First and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, all of which had previously been represented in the chamber. Three new forces also won representation.

The Nick Xenophon Team was created by Nick Xenophon, who had a long history in South Australian politics. He was elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in 1997 on a 'No-Pokies' platform. Following his election to the Senate in 2007, Xenophon established a national profile as an independent who used his position in parliament to advance issues, especially around gambling. He also tried to influence public policy, such as the Rudd government’s economic stimulus package and water policy for the management of the Murray Darling Basin.

Unaligned with either major party, the media savvy Xenophon gained a reputation for advocating common sense solutions to policy problems. In 2016, he launched the Nick Xenophon Team which won three Senate seats, all in South Australia, as well as the lower house seat of Mayo. In 2017, Xenophon launched a new party, SA Best, with a view to running candidates at the 2018 South Australian state election.54

In a similar way, Jacqui Lambie also sought to leverage the high public profile she had built in Tasmania. Elected in 2013 as a PUP candidate, Lambie built a profile as a forthright politician concerned about her state as well as the ‘average Australian’. She resigned from the PUP in 2014 and remained in the Senate as an independent. Prior to the 2016 election, she created the Jacqui Lambie Network and gained much media coverage for her support of the death penalty for foreign fighters and the reintroduction of national service. She also attracted attention for her views on Islam and sharia law and a proposal to ban the wearing of the burqa. Lambie had a reputation as a strong critic of the broad economic policies of the major parties, arguing they had lost touch with ordinary citizens. In 2016, her views clearly resonated with sections of the electorate as she won 8.3 per cent of the primary vote, well above the level needed for a quota in the double dissolution election.55

The third new minor party to win representation was Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, which was established by Derryn Hinch prior to the 2016 election. Hinch had developed a very high public profile as a journalist and media personality, so much so that for much of his career he was known as the ‘human headline’. The party was concerned with being tough on crime, especially the sexual abuse of minors, as well as seeking to reform parole and bail processes. Hinch had several convictions and served a prison sentence for breaching suppression orders by revealing details of alleged criminals. At the age of 72, Hinch became one of the oldest federal parliamentarians ever elected after winning six per cent of the primary vote in Victoria.

Evolution of parties elected to the Senate?

The minor parties elected to the Senate from 1955 to 1983 were created as a result of the fragmentation of the major parties. Importantly, they demonstrated that minor parties could win seats and play a role in the Senate, which was otherwise dominated by the major parties. From 1984, however, there was a shift in the type of minor party elected to the upper house. These parties were mobilised around specific policy demands, rather than created from major party fragmentation. They also sought to bring about policy change, rather than oppose an established party or to act as an intermediary in parliament. These parties highlighted perceived policy shortcomings and promised to address them if elected.56 The emergence of minor parties advancing a specific policy agenda is not a uniquely Australian phenomenon and has been observed in other liberal democracies.57

In some European systems, for example, a range of new minor parties have emerged with the goal of getting ‘other parties to pay attention to the issues that it would like to see dominate electoral competition’.58 These issues are often on the margins of the political debate and are significantly different to the concerns of established major parties, which tended to converge on broad economic and public policy. Moreover, the policy demands of these new minor parties are also closely associated with those of various new social movements. Thus, minor parties elected to the Australian Senate since 1984 can be thought of as ‘movement’ parties.

How can we account for the rise of these parties in the Australian Senate, especially since 1984? Research shows us that new social movements have become significant drivers of political debate in liberal democracies, especially since the 1970s.59 In some cases, the emergence of political parties was underpinned by new social movements that believed the issues they considered important were neglected by the established parties, and also by low electoral thresholds.60 In Australia, similar to the European experience, the changing political debate and electoral system has contributed to the rise of ‘movement’ parties since 1984. Table 2 highlights that new social movements played a key role in mobilising ‘movement’ parties, especially when they felt the issues they considered important were not being effectively dealt with by the major parties.

Party Year first elected to Senate Source of mobilisation Primary political objective Type of minor party
DLP 1955 major party fragmentation block ALP regaining government secessionist
Liberal Movement 1974 major party fragmentation act as intermediary between major parties secessionist
Australian Democrats 1977 major party fragmentation act as intermediary between major parties secessionist
Nuclear Disarmament Party 1984 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Vallentine Peace Group 1987 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
WA Greens 1990 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Australian Greens 1996 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
One Nation 1998 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Family First 2004 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
'New' DLP 2010 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 2013 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Palmer United Party (PUP) 2013 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (AMEP) 2013 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Derryn Hinch's Justice Party 2016 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Nick Xenophon Team 2016 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement
Jacqui Lambie Network 2016 new social movements advance specific policy agenda movement

As shown in table 2, the peace and disarmament groups underpinned the emergence of the NDP at a time when the major parties were seen to be ineffective in dealing with issues concerning nuclear disarmament. When the NDP disintegrated, the movement contributed to the rise of the Vallentine Peace Group and the WA Greens.61 The Australian Greens, meanwhile, had strong links to the broader conservation groups that emerged in the 1960s.62

Unlike the peace and disarmament groups, the conservation movement had more success in persuading the Hawke Labor government in particular to take its conservation agenda seriously and enact policy.63 This meant that the conservation movement had less need to spawn a political party as it already had the opportunity to influence government decisions throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. However, this changed when Paul Keating replaced Bob Hawke as prime minister and reduced the scope of the movement to influence government policy.64 Faced with less influence on government, elements of the conservation movement contributed to the rise of the Australian Greens.65 The Australian Greens, however, consolidated its position as more than just an ‘environment party’, especially when it advanced anti-war and socially progressive policies during the Howard government era.66

One Nation’s emergence is also an example of a broad social movement precipitating the creation of a political party as a vehicle to attempt to influence the political debate.67 The groups that underpinned One Nation were concerned with the economic, Indigenous and immigration policies of successive governments.68 Family First was created by elements of a social movement. The party attracted voters who held socially conservative views on issues such as same-sex relationships and the idea of what constituted a ‘family’, in addition to a deep suspicion about the policies of the Australian Greens. The DLP’s return to the Senate in 2010 also highlighted the change that had occurred in the type of minor party being elected to the Senate. The reconstituted DLP was far more concerned with advancing a specific policy agenda with links to socially conservative groups than it was about stopping Labor from winning government.

The rise of the Palmer United Party was similar to One Nation in that a charismatic leader acted as the lightning rod for a broader movement dissatisfied with the economic policies of the major parties. The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party and the Liberal Democrats, both elected in 2013, also had links to broad movements concerned about the role and size of government. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, the Nick Xenophon Team and Jacqui Lambie Network were also bolstered by ties to groups and movements, such as those concerned about gambling, justice, and the role and power of ‘ordinary’ Australians in influencing national policy decisions. The electoral fortunes of these three parties were also enhanced by leaders with high public profiles. Moreover, in the 2016 double dissolution election they faced lower electoral thresholds.

The emergence of ‘movement’ parties was so significant that one previously ‘secessionist’ party—the Australian Democrats—could no longer maintain Senate representation, though it did seek to evolve in the face of electoral challenges. The emergence of the NDP in 1984 served as a warning to the Democrats about how it could lose electoral representation to a party with specific policy goals. Indeed, the party leaders who succeeded Chipp sometimes tried to modify the party’s role as an ‘intermediary’ by responding to changes in the political debate. They were aided by the fact that the party was not beholden to any social movement or interest group. For example, Janine Haines sought to emphasise the party’s environmental policies, while Janet Powell emphasised the party’s peace and disarmament credentials. Subsequent leaders also placed emphasis on various issues they felt were important and would resonate with voters.69

The Democrats’ ability to modify its policy focus led some commentators to describe the party as ‘the chameleons of politics’.70 The Democrats demonstrate how a ‘secessionist’ party attempted to evolve into a ‘movement’ party, and faced significant challenges in doing so. In particular, concerns about the policy focus of various leaders led to internal disputes which often destabilised the party and eventually contributed to its demise.71 Compared to ‘secessionist’ parties like the Democrats, ‘movement’ parties are not equipped to be ‘political chameleons’ as they are mobilised by social movements with the aim of achieving specific policy goals. Another problem for the Australian Democrats was that its rules forbade it, to a large extent, from making preference deals. This, coupled with the party’s internal problems, meant that it could not withstand the rise of the ‘movement’ parties.72

Furthermore, reforms to the Senate voting system in 1984 created a more conducive environment for ‘movement’ parties to emerge. The introduction of election funding was an important reform as it promised to offset the costs of election campaigns for ‘movement’ parties, thus reducing the financial barriers confronting nascent parties.73 The introduction of the GTV also provided ‘movement’ parties with an opportunity to significantly influence the policy debate, especially as they could ‘wheel and deal’ preferences with the major parties. The GTV, however, has been a double-edged sword for ‘movement’ parties. Beneficial preference deals allowed Family First and the reconstituted DLP to win Senate representation in 2004 and 2010, respectively. But the GTV disadvantaged other ‘movement’ parties, such as the NDP in 1984 and One Nation in 1998, when major parties deprived these parties of preferences and stopped them from winning Senate representation. While the Hawke reforms reduced the electoral barriers confronting ‘movement’ parties, the tactical decisions of the major parties, especially on the question of where they direct preferences, still have a significant impact on the representational outcome of Senate contests.


There has been a change in the type of minor party elected to the Australian Senate. The first parties were the result of major party fragmentation and sought to act as opponents or ‘watchdogs’ of the major parties. The minor parties elected since 1984, however, have been part of the constellation of ‘movement’ parties. Mobilised to pursue specific policy agendas, these parties have closer links than their predecessors to the goals pursued by social movements. The return of the DLP to the Senate in 2010 and the continued election of new minor parties to the Senate crystallised the change in the type of minor party elected to the Australian upper house. Rather than focus on the major parties, these modern minor parties sought to advance specific policy goals while drawing on support from broad groups in society.

Question — Over the last 30 to 50 years there has been an increasing concentration of wealth in a smaller percentage of the population. That seemed to play a part in Donald Trump’s victory. I was wondering if you think it is having any impact on the Australian political system and minor party representation.

Zareh Ghazarian — There is clearly a link there. I think there is a sense that there are winners and there are losers. The candidates and parties we have seen in Australia—Lambie and Hanson in particular—play on that idea. When real wages are not going up, we see great uncertainty about ‘traditional’ jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector, and when we see metropolitan Australia doing so well but the rural and regional areas doing not so well, there is an appetite among voters to seek alternatives, to look at what is going on elsewhere. I think that is where a lot of these minor parties, especially from the right, are able to draw their support.

It was Bill Clinton who said, ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’ It is about the economy. It is about responding to the economic and social problems that are emerging. The economy is very much a concern. I do not think there is a day that goes by without some sort of press report about the cost of housing and the pressures that people are facing to pay off their mortgages. It contributes very nicely to the narrative that these parties are putting forward—the system that we have had for the last few generations is broken and needs to be fixed, and it cannot be fixed by an established politician. It has to be fixed by someone from the outside. I think that is the Trump approach and to some extent that is the Hanson approach.

Question — I was wondering whether you have been paying attention to the very recent Dutch election, where the two major parties were in a grand coalition and there was an absolute splintering of the vote, with the combined major party vote going down to about 27 per cent, to the point where you could almost say there is not such a thing as a major party anymore. Do you have any thoughts about the relevance of that in the Australian sphere?

Zareh Ghazarian — That is a great observation to make. When we think about the European systems in particular they love to use the proportional representation system we use in the Senate, but they use it for electing governments. Whenever you have that sort of system you are always going to be splintering the vote and ultimately ensuring that any government that gets in will have to deal with coalition partners. The voting system we use for the Australian lower house cuts all that off. It ensures that it becomes a battle between the two major parties. It amplifies the majority and you usually have one clear winner at the end of the election—barring the last few years!

I do think there is a very close association between the electoral system and the electoral outcome. On the point of the Dutch elections, there is this sense that the political right, the populist right, however they are framed in the media, are on the march. I am not so sure that they are. In another recent European election in Austria, the Greens, the left-of-centre candidate, did so very well and ultimately defeated the right. In the Western Australian state election there was this sense that Hanson was going to be dominant. I remember speaking to a journalist on the Friday prior to the election and it was his view that the battle had already been won and there would be a new government, but the main question was how many seats would Hanson win in the lower house? Of course we now know that the party struggled to win around about five per cent of the vote. While there is much media excitement about these right parties, the electoral reality suggests that they are not really the force they appear to be.

Donald Trump is used as another example, but Donald Trump was not just an independent. He was not just a populist candidate. He was the official nomination of the Republican Party. If party A is not going to win, it is going to be party B. In this case, Donald Trump was leader of party B. He was able to leverage the party recognition to take himself to the White House.

Question — You have emphasised a number of times that the greatest growth in minor parties is from the right, and in terms of the number of parties you are undoubtedly correct. But the largest single minor party is surely the Greens, who are a party on the left, probably to the left of the Labor Party. My question is—are there different factors influencing the growth of minor parties on the left from those that influence the growth of minor parties on the right?

Zareh Ghazarian — That is a very good question. It seems that the left-of-centre vote for the minor parties is consolidated with the Greens. There have been myriad Greens parties and they only started to consolidate in the late 1990s. Once that happened, we saw the rise of the Greens as the real third force in the Australian Senate. Then there was no more need for another Green party, or another party that advanced a socially progressive agenda, or another party concerned about Australian foreign policy, or another left-of-centre minor party concerned about justice and equality. That is all being funnelled to the Greens. However, the parties on the right all have their own different agendas. Some are about race. Some are about immigration. Some are about the leadership styles of government. Some are about things concerning economic protectionism, and others are all about advancing economic liberalism. There is much more variety on the right. I do not think we see that sense of consolidation towards one party from the right that is able to take all those different things into account. Whereas with the left, I think the Greens have been able to do that very effectively.

* This paper was presented as a lecture in the Senate Occasional Lecture Series at Parliament House, Canberra, on 17 March 2017.

1 Stanley Bach, Platypus and Parliament: The Australian Senate in Theory and Practice, Department of the Senate, Canberra, 2003.

2 Maurice Duverger, Political Parties, their Organization and Activity in the Modern State, 3rd edn, trans. B. North and R. North, Methuen, London, 1967.

3 Ian McAllister, Malcolm Mackerras and Carolyn Brown Boldiston, Australian Political Facts, 2nd edn, Macmillan, South Melbourne, 1997, p. 68.

4 David M. Farrell and Ian McAllister, Australian Electoral System: Origins, Variations and Consequences, University of NSW Press, Sydney, 2006.

5 Campbell Sharman, ‘The representation of small parties and independents in the Senate’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 34, no. 3, 1999, pp. 353–61.

6 Joan Rydon, A Federal Legislature: The Australian Commonwealth Parliament 1901–1980, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986; Campbell Sharman, ‘The Senate, small parties and the balance of power’, Politics, vol. 21, no. 2, 1986, pp. 20–31.

7 P.L. Reynolds, The Democratic Labor Party, Jacaranda, Milton, Queensland, 1974.

8 Democratic Labor Party, Focus: Journal of the Democratic Labor Party, July 1965; M. Lyons, ‘Defence, the family and the battler: the Democratic Labor Party and its legacy’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 43, no. 3, 2008, pp. 425–42.

9 Democratic Labor Party, Origin and Role of the DLP NSW Branch, Sydney, NSW, 1969, pp. 3–4.

10 Ibid.

11 L.F. Crisp, ‘The DLP vote 1958–1969—and after’, Politicals, vol. 5, no. 1, 1970, pp. 62–6.

12 Lyons, op. cit.

13 Sam Everingham, Gordon Barton: Australia’s Maverick Entrepreneur, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, 2009, p. 113.

14 Ibid.

15 Steele Hall (ed), A Liberal Awakening: the LM Story, Investigator Press, Leabrook, SA, 1973.

16 Dean Jaensch and Joan Bullock, Liberals in Limbo: Non-Labor Politics in South Australia, 1970–1978, Drummond, Richmond, Vic, 1978.

17 H. Sugita, Challenging ‘Twopartism’: The contribution of the Australian Democrats to the Australian party system, unpublished PhD thesis, Flinders University of South Australia, 1995.

18 Jaensch and Bullock, op. cit.

19 E. Cummins, ‘The Steele Hall enigma: A maverick who’ll sit on the Senate fence’, The Australian, 4 June 1974, p. 9.

20 The New Liberal Movement formed in 1976 after the dissolution of the Liberal Movement.

21 John Warhust, ‘The Catholic lobby: structures, policy styles and religious networks’, The Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 67, no. 2, June 2008, pp. 213–30; Warhurst, ‘1977: Don Chipp’s new party’, in Warhust, Keeping the Bastards Honest: The Australian Democrats’ First Twenty Years, Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards, NSW, 1997.

22 Bach, op. cit.

23 Sugita, op. cit.

24 Ibid.

25 Dean Jaensch, The Australian Party System, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, NSW, 1993.

26 Interviews with Lyn Allison, 2005 and Meg Lees, 2005.

27 Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 1998, p. 27; Keith Richmond, ‘Minor parties in Australia’ in Graeme Starr, Keith Richmond and Graham Maddox (eds), Political Parties in Australia, Heinemann, Richmond, Vic, 1978, p. 331; Rodney Smith, Against the Machines: Minor Parties and Independents in New South Wales, Federation Press, Leichhardt, NSW, 2006.

28 Section 24 of the Constitution states that 'The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators'. This is referred to as the 'nexus' provision. It means any increase in the size of the House—to reflect population growth, for example—requires a corresponding increase in the membership of the Senate.

29 Shaun Bowler and Todd Donovan, ‘The limited effects of election reforms on efficacy and engagement’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 47, no. 1, 2012, pp. 55–70.

30 Marian Sawer, ‘Above-the-line voting: how democratic?’, Representation, vol. 41, no. 4, January 2005, pp. 286–90,

31 Henry Mayer, ‘Big party chauvinism and minor party romanticism’ in Henry Mayer and Helen Nelson (eds), Australian Politics: A Fifth Reader, Longman Cheshire, Melbourne, 1980, p. 345.

32 M. Quigley, ‘Rise and fall of the NDP’, Current Affairs Bulletin, vol. 62, no. 11, 1986, pp. 12–19.

33 ‘Political chronicle: Australia and Papua New Guinea: the Commonwealth’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 248–55.

34 Interview with Michael Denborough, 2007.

35 Interview with Jo Vallentine, 26 August 2007.

36 Ibid.

37 Ibid.

38 Scott Bennett, ‘The rise of the Australian Greens’, Research Paper no. 8, 2008–09, Parliamentary Library.

39 Geoff Holloway, ‘The Wilderness Society: The transformation of a social movement organisation’, Occasional Paper no. 4, Department of Sociology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, 1986.

40 James Norman, Bob Brown: Gentle Revolutionary, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, 2004.

41 Narelle Miragliotta, ‘One party, two traditions: radicalism and pragmatism in the Australian Greens’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 44, no. 4, 2006, pp. 585–96.

42 Michael Gordon, ‘A martyr to the end’, The Age, 23 August 2003, p. 1.

43 Clive Bean, ‘Nationwide electoral support for One Nation in the 1998 federal election’ in M. Leach, G. Stokes, G. and I. Ward (eds), The Rise and Fall of One Nation, University of Queensland Press St Lucia, Qld, 2000; Murray Goot and Ian Watson, ‘One Nation's electoral support: where does it come from, what makes it different and how does it fit?’ Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 47, no. 2, 2001, pp. 159–91.

44 Paul Hainsworth, The Politics of the Extreme Right: From the Margins to the Mainstream, Pinter, London, 2000.

45 Interview with Scott Balson, 29 August, 2005; Goot and Watson, op. cit.

46 Hanson was expelled from her party in 2002 and was convicted and jailed for electoral fraud in 2003. The Queensland Court of Appeal later quashed her conviction.

47 Haydon Manning and John Warhurst, ‘The old and new politics of religion,’ in Marian Simms and John Warhurst (eds), Mortgage Nation: The 2004 Australian Election, API Network, Perth, 2005.

48 Steve Lillebuen, ‘Drug use focus of DLP in Senate’, The Age, 17 September, 2010.

49 Liberal Democrats Party, ‘Victimless crimes policy’, website, 27 November 2017,

50 Deborah Snow, ‘David Leyonhjelm: trouble shooter’, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 June 2014.

51 ‘Palmer to Contest Election with New Political Party’, ABC website, 14 May 2013,

52 Keith Littler, ‘Motoring enthusiasts have a political voice’, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party website, 13 May 2013,

53 Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party website, ‘Senate commitments and policy’, 2013,; Heather Ewart, ‘Where does Rick roll? Missing senator-elect drives power struggle’, ABC 7.30, 29 October 2013.

54 Since this paper was written, Nick Xenophon has resigned from the Senate to stand as a candidate in the South Australia state election.

55 Since this paper was written, Jacqui Lambie has resigned from the Senate on finding she held dual British citizenship which under the Constitution made her ineligible to sit in Parliament.

56 Edward G. Carmines and James A. Stimson, ‘On the evolution of political issues’, in William H. Riker (ed.), Agenda Formation, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1993.

57 Ibid

58 Christopher Green-Pedersen, ‘The growing importance of issue competition: the changing nature of party competition in Western Europe’, Political Studies, vol. 55, no. 3, October 2007, p. 609.

59 F. Feher and A. Heller, ‘From red to green’, Telos, vol. 59 (Spring), 1984, pp. 35–45; Ian Marsh, Beyond the Two Party System: Political Representation, Economic Competitiveness, and Australian Politics, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1995.

60 F. Muller-Rommel, ‘Social movements and the Greens’, European Journal of Political Research vol. 13, 1985, pp. 53–67; Herbert Kitschelt, ‘Left-libertarian parties: explaining innovation in competitive party systems’, World Politics, vol. 15, 1988, pp. 194–234; Herbert Kitschelt, ‘Movement parties’ in Richard S. Katz and William Crotty (eds), Handbook of Party Politics, Sage, London, 2006; Thomas Poguntke, ‘Political parties and other organizations’, in Katz and Crotty, ibid.

61 Vallentine, op. cit.

62 Miragliotta, op. cit.

63 Amanda Lohrey, ‘Ground-swell: the rise of the Greens’, Quarterly Essay, no. 8, 2002, p. 30.

64 Nick Economou, ‘Backwards into the future: national policy making, devolution and the rise and fall of the environment’ in K.J. Walker and K. Crowley (eds), Australian Environmental Policy 2: Studies in Decline and Devolution, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1999, p. 71.

65 Norman, op. cit.

66 Miragliotta, op. cit.; Bennett, op. cit.

67 Ian Ward, ‘One Nation: organisation, party and democracy’, in M. Leach, G. Stokes and I. Ward (eds), The Rise and Fall of One Nation, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 2000, p. 101.

68 Geoff Stokes, ‘One Nation and Australian populism’ in Leach, Stokes and Ward, op. cit., pp. 26–32.

69 Nick Economou and Zareh Ghazarian, ‘Vale the Australian Democrats: organisational failure and electoral decline,’ refereed paper delivered at the Australian Political Studies Association Conference, Brisbane, 6–9 July 2008.

70 D. O’Reilly, ‘Crash through or crash’, The Bulletin, 29 November 1988, p. 46.

71 Economou and Ghazarian, op. cit.

72 David Charnock, ‘Can the Australian Greens replace the Australian Democrats as a “third party” in the Senate?’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 44, no. 2, 2009, pp. 245–58.

73 Zareh Ghazarian, ‘State of assistance? Political parties and state support in Australia’, Australian Review of Public Affairs, vol. 7, no. 1, 2006, pp. 61–76.