Australia Political System: Political Parties

In Federal parliament, the two main political groups are the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the coalition between the Liberal Party and the National Party. These parties also dominate state politics but sometimes the Liberal and National parties are not in coalition. The latter was once known as the National Country Party since it mainly represents country seats.

The only other, political party of any real substance is the Australian Democrats, which has largely carried the flag for the ever-growing 'green' movement. The Democrats have been successful in recent times. Although the 1996 election gave a massive majority to the Coalition in the House of Representatives, the balance of power is held in the Senate by the Democrats. But independent politicians with no affiliation to a particular party who had made it into the traditional political structure in 1993 lost their seats in 1996.