Socialist Equality Party (Australia)

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Socialist Equality Party
National SecretaryCheryl Crisp
Assistant SecretaryMax Boddy
Founded1933; 88 years ago (1933), (as Workers Party)[1]
HeadquartersStrawberry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
NewspaperWorld Socialist Web Site
Youth wingIYSSE
Political positionFar-left
International affiliationICFI
House of Representatives
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Official website

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is a Trotskyist political party in Australia. The SEP was established in 2010 as the successor party to the Socialist Labour League, which was founded in 1972 as the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

According to its 2019 election statement, the party opposes identity politics and the Me Too movement.[2] The party also criticises contemporary trade unions,[2][3] having adopted the position that "They are no longer workers’ organisations."[4]



Inspired by the British Socialist Labour League, Nick Beams and other young Australian radicals founded the Socialist Labour League (SLL) in 1972.[5][6] Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the SLL supported strikes against the Fraser (Liberal) and Hawke (ALP) governments.[7] The party was a supporter of Muammar Gaddafi and their Green Book, and according to political historian Robert J. Alexander has been accused of receiving funds from Libya during this time.[8][9] By the 1980s the party's newspaper, Workers News, was circulated in all major cities twice a week.[9][7]

In its 1993 perspectives resolution, the SLL drew a balance sheet of the response of the petty-bourgeois "left" tendencies to the demise of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Communist Party of Australia in 1991, arguing that "As long as the working class was dominated by and subordinated to the vast apparatuses of Stalinism and Laborism, they were happy to define themselves as ‘socialists’ and even as ‘Marxists’ or ‘revolutionaries’. They formed part and parcel of the petty-bourgeois buffer, created by the ruling class in the aftermath of the war, to suffocate the working class."[10][11]

"The very name ‘Socialist Equality’ makes clear the connection between socialism and the most basic strivings of the working class for a just society, based on social equality and the right of all people to a decent and productive life."

—SEP Statement of Principles, adopted unanimously at January 21–25, 2010 founding congress.[12]


The Socialist Labour League was officially refounded as the Socialist Equality Party in 2010, with its founding congress held in Sydney on 21–25 January 2010, where it unanimously adopted a statement of principles.[13]

Electoral results[edit]

In elections, the party's strongest state has historically been New South Wales. Demographically, the party is stronger with younger voters.[14]

In the 2016 federal election the Socialist Equality Party fielded two senate candidates in each of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, two candidates in New South Wales for the House of Representatives and one in Victoria for the seat of Wills, which also had a Socialist Alliance candidate.[15]

House of Representatives[edit]

House of Representatives
Year Votes % ± Seat(s) ±
2010 11,160 0.09 0/150 Steady0
2013 Did not contest Steady0
2016 1,608 0.01 0/150 Steady0
2019 2,866 0.02 +78.23% 0/151 Steady0


Year Votes % ± Seat(s) ±
2010 13,945 0.11 0/76 Steady0
2013 9,774 0.07 –29.91% 0/76 Steady0
2016 7,865 0.06 –19.53% 0/76 Steady0
2019 14,515 0.10 +84.55 0/76 Steady0

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party, Part 4". World Socialist Web Site. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Support the Socialist Equality Party in the 2019 Australian Federal Election | Socialist Equality Party (Australia)". Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  3. ^ Henriques-Gomes, Luke (10 May 2019). "Australian election 2019: how to avoid voting for a terrible micro party in the Senate". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ "The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 10". Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  5. ^ "The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party, Part 1". World Socialist Web Site. 27 February 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  6. ^ "The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party, Part 7". World Socialist Web Site. 6 March 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  7. ^ a b "The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party, Part 8". World Socialist Web Site. 8 March 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  8. ^ Sheridan, Greg (24 February 2011). "Dictator's useful idiots happy to take his money". The Australian.
  9. ^ a b Alexander, Robert (1991). International Trotskyism, 1929-1985 : a documented analysis of the movement. Duke University Press. pp. 78-79. ISBN 978-0-8223-0975-8.
  10. ^ A Socialist Strategy for the Working Class, Socialist Labour League, Marrickville, Australia, 1992, pp. 45–46
  11. ^ Industrial relations and the trade unions under Labor: from Whitlam to Rudd, op. cit., p. 17
  12. ^ From the Socialist Labour League to the Socialist Equality Party, Labour Press Books, Bankstown, Australia, 1996, p. 2.
  13. ^ "Statement of Principles". World Socialist Web Site. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Socialist Equality Party calls for radical change". Reportage Online. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  15. ^ "Candidates for the 2016 federal election". Australian Electoral Commission. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.

External links[edit]