EXPECT pre-election headlines to be hogged by Labor, the Liberals and the Greens.
But come September 7, you might be surprised at the range of options on your voting slip.
A record 54 political parties have registered so far for the 2013 federal election, with a myriad of special interest groups to feature on the Senate ballot papers.
While Julian Assange's Wikileaks Party, the Katter Australia Party and Palmer United Party are the more highly-publicised of the new fringe groups, other first-timers - including the Pirate Party, the Bullet Train for Australia and Stable Population Australia - will also spruik their agendas.
The Smokers Rights Party says smokers have been unfairly treated with excessive taxes and restrictions, and wants to get rid of plain packaging and allow retailers to display tobacco the way they want to.
The Coke in the Bubblers Party - derived from the notion primary school captains are elected around the world on promises to put soft drink in fountains - is demanding evidence-based policy and wants to engage with any party that is seeking the best policy settings for Australia.
The Australian Protectionist Party says immigrants should hail from only Britain and Europe.
A lesser number of fringe groups will be jostling for attention in Tasmania, but smaller parties will still have a presence on the voting slip.
The Palmer United Party will contest Tasmania's five lower house seats and the Senate, and the Democratic Labor Party will campaign for Denison and a Senate spot.
Other Senate candidates include Katter's Australian Party (whose lead candidate is Geoff Herbert), as well as the Family First Party (Peter Madden), the Shooters and Fishers Party (Matthew Allen), the Pirate Party (Thomas Randle) and the Stable Population Party (Todd Dudley).
Political commentator Dr Tony McCall said the growing number of special interest parties could be a result of the increased importance of social media, with groups now able to drum up support for specific issues more effectively.
``I think the reference point for people and politics has broadened with social media and the internet,'' Dr McCall said.
``It's easier to establish a single-issue collection of enthusiasts, often a topic that is not a main focus for the major parties, and get that message out to the electorate.
``It's also easier now for strong personalities to get a higher profile from the use of social media - people like the Clive Palmers, Julian Assange and Bob Katter.''
Dr McCall said the more prominent fringe parties might also fancy themselves for a Senate seat because of preference deals among themselves and with the larger parties.
``In larger states such as New South Wales, larger fringe groups are within striking distance of a Senate seat, because they can position themselves as the count proceeds,'' he said.
But he said he didn't think any fringe groups could secure a spot in the Tasmanian Senate.
``Not many will achieve 4 per cent primary vote needed to get financial support,'' he said.
``There are not enough competing to swap preferences to win the sixth Senate seat.''