Liberal Democratic Party (Australia)

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Liberal Democratic Party
National President Gabriel Buckley
Parliamentary leader David Leyonhjelm
Founded 2001
Headquarters Dickson, Australian Capital Territory
Membership 7,000[1]
Ideology Classical liberalism[2]
Fiscal conservatism[4]
International affiliation International Alliance of Libertarian Parties
Yellow and Blue
1 / 76
Victorian Legislative Council
2 / 40
WA Legislative Council
1 / 36

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Liberal Democrats) is an Australian political party founded in Canberra in 2001. The party espouses smaller government, and supports policies that are based on classical liberal and right-libertarian principles.[5] The LDP is a registered party in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia, and is also registered for federal elections with the Australian Electoral Commission. The party has one senator, David Leyonhjelm, elected to parliament at the 2013 federal election. It also has a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council, Aaron Stonehouse, and elected representatives in some local governments. It is "a hardline liberal party that demands abolition of government welfare as well as the minimum wage, seatbelts and bike helmets. It backs legalisation of marijuana and increased freedom to access pornography."


The LDP states that it adheres to classical liberal, small government and laissez-faire principles coupled with what the party considers as a high regard for individual freedom and individual responsibility.[6] The party's policies are influenced by those of the Libertarian Party in the United States of America.


LDP supported policies include:[7][8][9][10]


Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm
    • January: Author and journalist Cassandra Wilkinson keynote speaker at the 2013 LDP National Conference in Sydney.
    • David Leyonhjelm elected to the Senate with a 9.5 percent (+7.2) primary vote, or 416,000 votes, polling the third-highest vote in New South Wales after the Liberal/National Coalition and the Australian Labor Party.[36] The result for the LDP in New South Wales was partly attributed to the "donkey vote" with the party's ticket occupying the first of 44 ticket positions (and 110 individual candidates) on a record-size Senate ballot paper.[37]
    • Primary vote of 5.33 percent in Gippsland, the only House of Representatives seat the party contested at the 2013 election.
    • Councillor Clinton Mead is elected by his fellow councillors to be mayor of Campbelltown.
  • 2014:
    • Gabriel Buckley becomes party president.
    • February: Australian Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson keynote speaker at the 2014 LDP National Conference in Sydney.
    • June: Leyonhjelm and Family First's Bob Day announced their intention to vote as a bloc in the Senate on economic issues, but remain separate on social issues.[38]
    • July: David Leyonhjelm becomes the Liberal Democratic Party's first senator.
    • November: Achieves registration with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), announces it will field upper-house candidates in the upcoming Victorian state election on 29 November 2014.[39]
    • November: Small business owner Samuel Charlick, the South Australian State President of the LDP, is elected as a councillor for Glenelg Ward in the City of Holdfast Bay, the first LDP representative in that state.
  • 2016:
    • August: NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm re-elected with a 3.1 percent (−6.4) primary vote, or 139,000 votes, at the 2016 double dissolution federal election.[40] Gabriel Buckley, the LDP's lead candidate in Queensland, marginally misses out on a seat.[41]
    • October: Bob Day resigns from Senate, terminating voting bloc with Leyonhjelm.[42]

Election results

Federal parliament

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
# of
overall seats
+/– Notes
2007 16,942 0.13 (#17)
0 / 40
0 / 76
2010 230,191 1.81 (#6)
0 / 40
0 / 76
Steady 0
2013 523,831 3.91 (#5)
1 / 40
1 / 76
Increase 1
2016 298,915 2.16 (#6)
1 / 76
1 / 76
Steady 0


Prior to the 2012 Ramsay and Port Adelaide state by-elections in South Australia, the polls in The Advertiser newspaper gave the LDP 23 percent and 14 percent of the vote respectively in the absence of Liberal Party candidates. The LDP ended up with votes of 13.3 percent and 7.3 percent respectively. The paper described the LDP as "a hardline liberal party that demands abolition of government welfare as well as the minimum wage, seatbelts and bike helmets. It backs legalisation of marijuana and increased freedom to access pornography."[47]

At the 2013 federal election, LDP candidate David Leyonhjelm was elected to the Senate after polling the third highest vote in the state of New South Wales after the Liberal Party of Australia and the Australian Labor Party.[48] According to Leyonhjelm, a portion of their vote probably came from their 'first position' on the long senate ballot paper and voters potentially being confused with his party and other contesting parties such as the Liberals, the Australian Democrats and the Christian Democratic Party.[49] However, Leyonhjelm points to the fact that the Liberal Democrats' vote in South Australia, where they were fifth on the ballot, rose 3 percentage points. He also points to the fact that the donkey vote generally only produces swings of +1 or 2 percentage points to the party listed first on the ballot.[50]

Leyonhjelm organised preferences for several different, but closely entwined, political parties seeking election to the Senate, including the Outdoor Recreation Party, Smokers' Rights Party, and the Republican Party of Australia.[51] Australian Sex Party candidate Fiona Patten alleged Leyonhjelm intentionally failed to lodge ticket voting preferences forms, reneging on a preference deal,[52] but Leyonhjelm claimed that there was a mistake entering the AEC fax number.[53] The Liberal Democrats were not involved in Glenn Druery's "Minor Party Alliance" during the election, which assisted in negotiating preference flows between minor parties.[54]

Shortly after David Leyonhjelm's Senate victory, Liberal Democrats councillor Clinton Mead was elected Mayor of the City of Campbelltown in New South Wales.[55]

On 1 July 2014, David Leyonhjelm became the Liberal Democratic Party's first senator.

WA elections held 11 March 2017 expecting first LDP member, Aaron Stonehouse, will be placed in the WA Legislative Council.[55]

In May 2017, Mark Latham announced via his Facebook page that he would be joining the Liberal Democrats party.[56] The Labor Party responded by placing a life ban on Latham from ever re-joining the party, after a motion was passed by the New South Wales branch of the Labor Party.[citation needed]

Latham also announced that he was open to running as a candidate for the Liberal Democrats.[57]

Party name

Founded as the Liberal Democratic Party in 2001, changes to the Electoral Act by the Howard government forced all parties without parliamentary representation to deregister, and re-register under stricter naming rules.[58] Advised by the Australian Electoral Commission that federal registration under the original name was uncertain given opposition by the Liberal Party of Australia, and lacking the funding to appeal a likely negative finding, in 2007 the party chose to register federally as the Liberty and Democracy Party.[59] However, in 2008 the party successfully applied to the Australian Electoral Commission to change its federally registered name to Liberal Democratic Party.[60] During this period, the party remained registered under its original name in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).[61] In 2016 the Liberal Party again sought to challenge the name but ultimately abandoned the action.[62]

See also


  1. ^ David Leyonhjelm. "Latham's Lure".
  2. ^ Bertram, Dean (2013, September 21); "In praise of Australia's Liberal Democrats"; The Spectator.
  3. ^ "Libertarianism gets a loudspeaker in David Leyonhjelm". Australian Financial Review. 26 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Federal election 2016: Labor deal splits conservatives". The Australian. June 23, 2016.
  5. ^ "LDP philosophy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Principles". Liberal Democratic Party. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
  7. ^ "Policies". Liberal Democratic Party. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  8. ^ Kroehn, Chantelle; Adam Todd (2007-11-14). "`Local' candidates are anything but". Guardian Messenger (1 - FIRST ed.). p. 4.
  9. ^ "Policies". Liberal Democratic Party. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
  10. ^ Bicknell, Graham (2007-11-23). "Soccer should be banned says LDP". Geelong Advertiser (1 - ed.). p. 2.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  12. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  15. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-27.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  23. ^ a b c "Religion". Liberal Democrats. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Drug Reform". Liberal Democratic Party. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  26. ^ "Lindt cafe hostages, like the rest of us, denied the practical right to self-defence". 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  27. ^ "Legal to carry ___ for self-defense?". Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
  29. ^ "2001 Election - First Preference Results". ACT Electoral Commission. 2005-03-08. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  30. ^ "2004 Election - First Preference Results". ACT Electoral Commission. 2005-02-01. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  31. ^ "Party Registration decision: Liberty and Democracy Party". Australian Electoral Commission. 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  32. ^ "Party appealing to discontented masses". Hills Shire Times (1 - ed.). 2008-04-15. p. 3.
  33. ^ "The Australian Electoral Commission Website". Australian Electoral Commission. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
  34. ^ "First Preferences by Party". Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
  35. ^ Bauche, David (12 September 2012). "Malicki dominates the vote for her sixth term". Hornsby Advocate. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  36. ^ "Detours ahead as minor parties claim Senate balance". SMH. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  37. ^ Aston, Heath (2 October 2013). "The $1m mistake: senator's poll windfall". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  38. ^ Heath Aston (1 June 2014). "Senate's odd couple quickly form a voting blocThe Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  39. ^ Rose, Danny (5 November 2014). "Lib Dems to stand candidates for Vic poll". The Australian. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  40. ^ "Senate Results - Australia Votes - Federal Election 2016". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  41. ^ "One Nation claims four Senate seats".
  42. ^ "Bob Day resigns from the Senate, effective immediately". Guardian. 1 November 2016.
  43. ^ "Legislative Council Results - ABC News". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  44. ^ "Bernardi's alliance intends to bloc Xenophon". The Australian. 27 April 2017.
  45. ^ "Mark Latham joins Liberal Democrats and sparks speculation of return to politics". The Guardian. 8 May 2017.
  46. ^ "Cory Bernardi forms right-wing voting alliance with David Leyonhjelm and Fraser Anning". Nine Newsurl= 5 February 2018.
  47. ^ Wills, Daniel (20 January 2012). "Female voters save Labor's seat". The Advertiser. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  48. ^ Damien Murphy (2013-09-09). "Detours ahead as minor parties claim Senate balance". Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  49. ^ "NSW sends pro-gun Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm to Senate". 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-10-13.
  50. ^ "Liberals don't live up to their name, unlike the LDP". The Australian. 1 October 2013.
  51. ^ Crook, Andrew (22 August 2013). "Revealed: the libertarian Right's micro-party links". Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  52. ^ Dunckley, Mathew (16 September 2013). "Faulty fax machine blamed in Sex Party spat over Senate seat". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
  53. ^ Swan, Jonathan (16 September 2013). "Sex Party points finger at minor rival over preference form bungle". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  54. ^ Dylan Welch (1 April 2014). "Senate voting inquiry prompted by Glenn Druery's election tactics could put end to preference trading" – Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  55. ^ a b "New Mayors for Campbelltown and Camden".
  56. ^ "Mark Latham joins 'party of freedom' Liberal Democrats". ABC News. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  57. ^ Malcolm Farr (2017-05-08). "Mark Latham joins Liberal Democrats political party in shock move". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  58. ^ Stephen, Mayne (29 June 2006). "Minor parties deregistered by Howard electoral law changes". Crikey. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  59. ^ Davis, Mark; Jensen, Erik (2007-11-12). "Lots of trash 'n' treasure in micro-party bazaar". The Sydney Morning Herald (First ed.). p. 18. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  60. ^ Mitchell, Alex (2009-02-10). "Tax-hating gun-lovers register political party". Crikey. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
  61. ^ "Register of political parties". ACT Electoral Commission. 2007-10-15. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
  62. ^ "Leyonhjelm wins 'Liberal' tag battle". Yahoo. 13 March 2016. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.

External links

  • LDP official website

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