NewsThe Rise and Rise of the Minor Parties - Would you vote for them?

The Rise and Rise of the Minor Parties - Would you vote for them?


The recent swing against the Nationals in the Orange Byelection in NSW is yet another example of the growing influence of minor parties in Australia.

The Nationals suffered a 35% swing against them on the primary vote, eventually losing to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Philip Donato, despite the seat being held on a 21.7 per cent margin by the Coalition partner.

The recent rise of minor parties such as Pauline Hanson's One Nation and Nick Xenophon's NXT is being seen as a wake-up call for the two major parties as they struggle to get several bills through parliament.

And their growing power has also been on full display in Canberra lately. Much horse-trading has been going on this week with the cross benchers with Malcolm Turnbull claiming victory in the passage of the legislation reinstating the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

As Dennis Shanahan writes in the Australian, “He has cleared a collection of legacy policies and heads into the summer break with a list of achievements he can claim as progress — and as a demonstration of an ability to deal with the Senate.”

The primary vote of minor parties in the House also has a profound effect on the major parties at a time when their own primary votes are at historic lows.

While the rise of minor parties is not a new phenomenon, the two major parties need to reassess how they deal with the trend. With the departure of the Palmer United Party in the last election, a range of parties benefited from voters' refusal to return to the major parties.

Beyond the Greens, the most primary votes garnered by a minor party at the last federal election was by NXT, which attracted 245,054 votes, or 1.85 per cent of the vote, followed by Family First with 196,740, One Nation with 172,548 and Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party with 172,071.

There was then a step down to another group of minor parties with smaller votes, led by the Animal Justice Party 92,014, outdoing Bob Katter's Australian Party with 72,411 votes, Rise Up Australia with 67,041 votes and the Liberal Democrats with 64,305.

A blizzard of other minor parties picked up the remainder, while independent candidates collectively garnered 376,267 votes (2.84 per cent of the vote), up considerably from 177,217 in 2013. *

You would be forgiven for thinking the whole process had turned into a joke, particularly when you’re faced with a voting form larger than the average dining room table… and here’s the reason why…

 Australia’s Top 5 Weirdest political parties.**


Bullet Train for Australia Party is a one-policy party. It wants a high-speed train network and promises to be the least annoying party

WikiLeaks Party – formed to support the bid of Julian Assange for a Senate seat in Victoria state.

Pirate Party Australia has nothing to do with swashbuckling and the high seas, but intellectual property

Coke in the Bubblers Party. Every year, in primary schools across the country, students are elected to leadership positions on the promise of putting Coke in the Bubblers.

Australian Sex Party. The Australian Electoral Commission actually had to decide whether its name was obscene. The Party was founded in 2009 in response to concerns over the influence of religion in politics and internet censorship.


Would you vote for a minor party? Have you already? Are you disillusioned with the major parties? Vote in our poll




* Laura Tingle AFR


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The Rise and Rise of the Minor Parties - Would you vote for them?

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anne from SA commented:

No confidence in the 2 major parties. Happy to vote for Pauline, Jacqui and Derrin. Keep the bastards honest! 

George from NSW commented:

I should also add - the gradual destruction of the Age Pension system by both major parties (supported by the useless Greens) is another reason why all concerned should vote for a Pensioner-friendly alternative - unfortunately many behaved like sheep and voted for these self-interested and destructive major parties yet again in the last election. 

George from NSW commented:

We really didn't have a real choice in the Lower House as ultimately due to preference voting one of the 2 (or sometimes a 3rd) major party gets in. We really need a Trump-like alternative as most of what he has advocated applies to Australia a well (Jobs outsourced, companies moved work overseas / getting overseas workers here, 457 visas replacing staff here at all levels e.g. Consultants to lower paid workers, useless trade deals encouraging cheap imports replacing Aussie-made goods, immigration allowing suspect migrants who will never assimilate / even accept Australian Christian culture, Land / Properties sold to Foreigners affecting both Farms & Cities, etc, etc). None of the current alternative politicians have tature or strength or support from the system to provide a credible alternative. Perhaps the only clean alternative is for Australia to apply to become the 51st State of USA (under Trump) - sooner the better. 

George from NSW replied to George:

Add also the need to "repeal and replace" The Private Health Insurance system in Australia which is a fraud on the people, as the Govt forces it on people (with penalties), approves large increases in premiums every year, and yet forces Patients to bear the Risk of Gaps and high Doctors fees. Insurance companies need to bear these Risks of Gaps (all except 15% of Medicare Scheduled Fees) and high Doctors Fees, including for costs of Diagnostic Tests and Pharmaceuticals. Otherwise it is not Insurance, simply a scheme to refund part of costs. Insurance companies are getting away with a complete con on the people without taking on these Risks, and making great profits. 

Anonymous from QLD commented:

Finally voters have a choice - more of the same old rhetoric which does nothing for the average Aussie or a vote for a party that actually gives a damm. Political correctness has gone way beyond what anyone would ever had have expected and is well past it's use by date - it stops reasonable debate on just about any subject and is now a tool that is used by 'the major parties' to their advantage. A vote for One Nation is a vote for a party that has the guts to call 'the major parties' to account for their actions - which have not been in the best interests of the country - it seems like they pander to every other country and put Aussies last. I will always vote for a One Nation candidate if there one - be that in the state / federal or senate. 

Ian from NSW commented:

Yes I voted for one nation in the senate. The two major parties seem to be all about the party and to hell with anyone else. Their selfish need and their hunger for power is diving their political point scoring rather than governing the country for the people of Australia. 

Jeff from QLD commented:

The two major parties still don't get it. They obviously took nothing out of the British brexit vote or the American Trump vote. People are finally seeing through their lies of telling us what's best for us, only to see the big end of town the sole beneficiaries. Even the Europeans are starting to see the light. I only hope we Aussies are the next in line. 

Marion from QLD commented:

Yes we did at the last federal election. Always voted for the Coalition up till then but never again. Have completely lost faith in the major parties. Since reaching retirement age we just seem to be going backwards and the government keeps looking for ways to get at retirees. Come January 1st our income will drop to well below the full pension, should never have saved as it has come back to bite us now. Advice to people 5 years or more from retirement age. Spend now, give it to your kids or have some big holidays 

Brian from NSW commented:

Yes why not . The union driven labor party that only listens to it Union mates for get the rest of Australia's , the weak Liberals and National whom won't stand up for the Australian people whom we would like them to repent us but they don't listen and God forgive the brain dead Greens with there heads up in the sky an tell us that the sky is falling or the King clothes are lovely ,only the small boy try's to tell them that the King is wearing no clothes . 

Linda from QLD commented:

I don't think major parties know why it's happening. I am sick of the lack of transparency, the bickering, lies, undercover operations. Most of all the dishonesty. I have voted for minor party. I believe the whole system is flawed the British system does not provide democracy in this era. 

sonja from NSW commented:

ABSOLUTELY !!!!! Pauline isn't afraid of political correctness when expressing her opinions !! Malcolm Roberts is exposing the BIG CLIMATE CHANGE HOAX created by the corrupt UN !! No longer feel represented by my new Liberal local member , as he is far too moderate /left wing to my liking !!! Same goes for our current PM !!!! Time for a new " REAL" Liberal Party !!! 

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