Australian Sex Party

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Australian Sex Party
Leader Fiona Patten
Founded 2009
Headquarters 10 Ipswich St
Fyshwick ACT 2609
Ideology Sex-positive,
Social progressivism,
Civil libertarianism
Secular liberalism
Colours          Yellow and Red
Victorian Legislative Council
1 / 40
Politics of Australia
Political parties

The Australian Sex Party is an Australian political party founded in 2009 in response to concerns over the increasing influence of religion in Australian politics.[1][2] The party was born out of an adult-industry lobby group, the Eros Association. Its leader, Fiona Patten, was formerly the association's CEO, while the party's registered officer, Robert Swan, is the association's acting CEO.[3] Patten describes the party as a "civil libertarian alternative".[4] Patten is a veteran campaigner on issues such as censorship, equality, and discrimination.[5][6] Patten was elected to the Victorian Legislative Council at the 2014 state election.

The party was briefly federally deregistered by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on 5 May 2015, after an audit found that it could not demonstrate that it met the statutory requirement of 500 members, but was re-registered in July.[7][8] The Sex Party is registered at state level in Victoria, where it has parliamentary representation, and in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.

Election results[edit]

2009 federal by-elections[edit]

The party contested elections for the first time at the Higgins[9] and Bradfield[10] by-elections in November 2009, gaining over three percent of the primary vote in both seats, coming fourth of ten, and third of twenty-two candidates, respectively.[11]

2010 federal election[edit]

The party contested six of 150 House of Representatives seats and all states and territories (except Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory) in the Senate at the 2010 federal election. Receiving more than 250,000 first preferences, the party won 2.04 percent of the national Senate vote.[12] After the major parties and the Australian Greens, the Sex Party during the vote count were "neck and neck" with the Family First Party for the fourth place in the national Senate vote.[13] The party "outpolled several more prominent minor parties and came within about 10,000 votes of Family First for the Senate in Victoria".[14] After the party's first federal election contest, Patten claimed that the Sex Party was "now the major minor party in Australian politics":

We’ve polled better than the Greens did in their first federal election and believe that our vision of Australia as the most socially progressive country in the world is equal to the Greens environmental messages of 20 years ago.[15]

Whilst the Sex Party did not win any seats, their preferences were substantially beneficial to the Greens who won a Senate seat in every state for the first time.[16][17]

2010 Victorian state election[edit]

The party contested seats at the 2010 Victorian state election on 27 November, and received 1.9 percent of the vote in the upper house.[18] Labor, the Coalition, and the Greens all directed preferences to the ASP in the multimember proportional upper house.[19][20]

2011–13 Victorian state by-elections[edit]

The party received 5 percent and 8 percent of the vote at the 2011 Broadmeadows and 2012 Niddrie by-elections in the absence of Liberal Party of Australia candidates. Patten contested the 2012 Melbourne state by-election, coming third out of 16 candidates, receiving 6.6 percent of the vote, in the absence of a Liberal candidate. She says the party preferenced Labor ahead of the Greens on their how-to-vote card at the Melbourne by-election due to the "anti-sex feminist movement" within the Greens,[21][22] but that future preferences may change again.[23] The Sex Party produced a split Labor/Green how-to-vote card[24] at the 2013 Lyndhurst by-election and won 8.4 percent of the primary vote, again in the absence of a Liberal candidate.

2014 Victorian state election[edit]

The party received 2.54% of the upper house primary vote at the 2014 Victorian state election.[25] Fiona Patten was elected to the Legislative Council as a member for the Northern Metropolitan Region.[26]

2015 Victorian state by-election[edit]

President of the Rationalist Society of Australia, Meredith Doig, contested for the party at the 2015 Polwarth by-election, receiving over six percent of the vote in the absence of a Labor candidate.


Party leader Fiona Patten

The Australian Sex Party's policy platform has been described as libertarian.[6] It is opposed to mandatory internet censorship, and supports the introduction of a national media classification scheme, including a rating for non-violent sexual content. The ASP also supports a royal commission into the sexual abuse of children in Australian religious institutions, and is in favour of legalised abortion, gay rights, voluntary euthanasia, the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use along with the decriminalisation of all other drugs for recreational use.[27] However, although this said decriminalisation, or more specifically the removal of criminal sanction, is of interest to the party, they do recommend that this is dealt with by referring one found with illicit drugs to a corresponding treatment centre.[28] Additionally, the party is also in favour of sexual rights for disabled individuals.[29]


The Australian Sex Party's close links with the adult industry lobby group, the Eros Association, are seen by some as the party being its political wing.[30][31][30][31]

The party has had some involvement in Glenn Druery's Minor Party Alliance.[32][33]


  1. ^ Bennett, Lucy (17 November 2008). "Australian Sex Party launches on Thursday". The Australian. Archived from the original on 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  2. ^ "Sex flirts with politics", Herald Sun, 16 November 2008.
  3. ^ Eros Association - About Us
  4. ^ Gardiner, Ashley (15 November 2010). "Sex Party hopes to make history and win an Upper House seat in state election". Herald Sun. 
  5. ^ "People Trafficking, Human Security and Development". Australian National University. 29 August 2004. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  6. ^ a b Syvret, Paul (8 December 2009). "Australian Sex Party a dark horse in federal politics". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Australian Electoral Commission: Australian Sex Party". 10 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Sex Party Rises Again". Australian Sex Party. 24 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Parliament 'needs a sex party': The Australian 6 November 2009
  10. ^ "Pole dancer aims for Nelson's old seat", Sydney Morning Herald, 28 October 2009.
  11. ^ "Virtual Tally Room", Retrieved on 2010-10-21.
  12. ^ First Preferences for the Senate - 2010 federal election: AEC
  13. ^ "Australian Sex Party does well",, 24 August 2010.
  14. ^ "Australian Sex Party picks up votes", Herald Sun, 24 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Sex Party Now The Major Minor Party in Australian Politics", Sex Party website, 23 August 2010.
  16. ^ "Greens win seats in every state", Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 2010.
  17. ^ "2010 election Senate preference flow results", ABC
  18. ^ Sex party turns up heat in Vic politics
  19. ^ "Sex Party set to sway voters in Victorian election and may take first seat", Herald Sun, 23 November 2010.
  20. ^ "Sex Party hoping to get lucky in Victoria", Sydney Morning Herald, 25 November 2010.
  21. ^ "Greens snub could cost preferences in Melbourne by-election", Herald Sun, 19 July 2012.
  22. ^ "The Melbourne byelection special", 3AW, 19 July 2012.
  23. ^ "Official by-election outcome still days away", Yahoo! News, 23 July 2012.
  24. ^ "2013 Lyndhurst by-election Sex Party HTV card: VEC"
  25. ^ State Election 2014 provisional results
  26. ^ Legislative Council - ABC News
  27. ^ "Australian Sex Party Federal Policies". Australian Sex Party. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  28. ^ Australian Sex Party. "Australian Sex Party - Federal Drug Policy". Australian Sex Party. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "Australian Sex Party - Federal Equality Policy". ASP. Retrieved 2013-09-12.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  30. ^ a b "Political party or lobby group? The dark side of the Australian Sex Party", The Conversation, 31 July 2012.
  31. ^ a b Industry association forms Sex Party: Australian Sex Party website 25 August 2009
  32. ^ Bitter dispute erupts over Senate preferences in Queensland: ABC 5 September 2013
  33. ^ Alliance of micro parties boosts odds for likes of One Nation or Shooters and Fishers gaining Senate spot through preferences: Daily Telegraph 5 September 2013

External links[edit]