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Australian Democrats

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Formed in 1977 by a disaffected Liberal, Don Chipp, the Australian Democrats was once the most successful minor political party in Australian history.

Whilst it never won a House of Representatives seat, since 1981 it held or shared the balance of power in the Senate for around twenty years.

It is the only party to have elected not one, but five different women as leader.

More recently, the party suffered a debilitating internal split, leadership instability and plummeting opinion poll ratings. Following the 2007 election, it lost all its representation in the Senate.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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