Research candidates & parties

Political parties and independents

Candidates for elections will either run on behalf of a political party or as an independent.

If elected, candidates who are members of a political party will generally vote the same as the other people in that political party.

If elected, independents will decide their vote independently for every vote.

You can find out more about the major political parties on their websites:

Australian Greens

Australian Greens

Australian Labor Party

Australian Labor Party

Liberal Party of Australia

Liberal Party of Australia

The Nationals

The Nationals

Find out who the candidates are

Start by finding out which electorate you live in. For the federal election you can do this by looking up your postcode or suburb on the AEC website or by calling the AEC on 13 23 26.

You should then find out which candidates are standing for:

  • the House of Representatives position in your electorate; and
  • the Senate positions in your state or territory.

Once the election is called, you can find this out through the AEC and on the political party websites.

On party websites, you should look for a page with a list of the candidates. This will be called something like ‘Candidates’, ‘Our People’, ‘Our Team’, or ‘Election’.

Find out what the candidates care about

Once you have found the House of Representative candidates for your electorate and the Senate candidates for your State or Territory, find out what issues they care about.

Look at what they write or say on their websites, social media pages, pamphlets or in interviews and speeches that they give. If a candidate mentions an issue a lot, it is probably something that they plan to act on if they are elected.

If a candidate has previously been elected to parliament, you can find out whether they have done anything about the issue you care about before. You can read what speeches MPs and Senators have made in parliament at

In particular, parliamentarians use their ‘maiden speech’ (first speech) in parliament to highlight issues that are most important to them.

You can also see how parliamentarians have voted on particular issues through

If you aren’t sure what a candidate thinks about issues that you care about, call them at their office, attend events where they will be, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is their job to convince you to vote for them.

Find out who the candidates are

Candidates are strongly influenced by the values and the positions of their parties. MPs and Senators will normally vote how their party tells them to.

You can find out what parties are promising through their websites. Look for pages that are called something like ‘Our policies’ ‘Our values’, ‘Our vision’, ‘Our Plan’, ‘National Platform’.

The ABC has a useful tool called Vote Compass, which lets you check how your views on issues compare with the political parties:

Vote Compass

Vote Compass

Think about

  • What issues does the candidate care about?
  • What policies do they promise to put in place?
  • What party do they represent?
  • What actions will the party take if they become the Government

Remember: Think about these issues for yourself. You should make this decision on your own. No one – not even your parents, partner or children – should tell you who you must vote for. This is a decision you should make independently.

Find out more

Harmony Alliance will update its website and social media regularly during the Federal Election with more information.

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