JAMIE McIntyre’s 21st Century Australia Party may not even make it onto the ballot paper if a fresh election date is announced within the next month.
The party was notified by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) its application had been approved on Monday.
An AEC spokesman said it was now open for public submissions for 30 days before being finalised. Whether submissions are received or not affects the length of the finalisation process.
The problem for Mr McIntyre, who’s contesting the seat of New England, is if Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces a new election date within that one-month period, all unfinalised applications are frozen until after the election.
Mr McIntyre is furious the process could deny his party an opportunity to make its mark on the Australian political scene and effectively delay its policy goals for another three years.
He would still be able to run as an independent – as would the other 21st Century candidates that have already been announced – but they would be unable to run under the party banner.
Mr McIntyre told The Leader he would still contest the seat as an independent but he believes it would affect his chances of success.
“It’s outrageous,” he said.
“We’ve put a lot of effort in to get to this point ... and we certainly won’t go quietly, we’ll be stirring up protests.”
Mr McIntyre has spoken of his frustration with the delays in the registration of his party, telling The Leader on Monday that it had taken several months and three re-submissions before reaching the point of approval.
He’s angry those delays could now leave his party in the political wilderness.
“It’s either AEC incompetence or there’s an agenda there,” he said.
Mr McIntyre had thought in its first election, the party’s best chance of success was in the senate, but he said without a party banner, candidates would have little chance.