Other parties and independents
Apart from the major political parties, there are many other small political parties in Australia. They usually attract only small proportions of the vote and rarely have members elected to parliament. Generally there are three types of small parties: a party of a particular doctrine or way of thinking; a party that is a break-away or ‘splinter’ group of a major party; or a ‘single issue party’ set up to campaign on a particular issue. Small parties can work to broaden electoral debate but have limited influence on government.
Australian political parties and organisations
Independents are individual citizens who are elected to federal and State Parliaments. They do not belong to a political party and are thus independent of any binding party policy or organisation. These representatives usually have strong local electoral support built around local issues. When these members hold the balance of power in a parliament, they can wield considerable influence on a government that is dependent on their support.