Upon its formation a number of other prominent former members of the Australian Democrats joined the APA, including former Queensland Senator John Woodley, who was the party's president, and Elisabeth Kirkby, a former member of the New South Wales Legislative Council.
However, the party failed to make any serious impact in the 2004 election with Lees herself falling far short of being re-elected in South Australia. When Lees' term ended in June 2005 the party formally deregistered.
The APA positioned itself as a party of the moderate centre, arguing that the Democrats, under the leadership first of Cheryl Kernot and more recently of Natasha Stott-Despoja and Andrew Bartlett, had moved too far to the left.
Lees said in a 2003 On line Opinion article that the party would appeal to "voters who cannot be dragged to the extremes by the Greens in any enduring way. These are the voters who want more choice in the mainstream, who want to be able to make a positive vote rather than just choose the lesser of several evils.
The party's "guiding principles" were described as:
At the 2004 federal election Lees sought re-election to the Australian Senate. Despite her high profile in South Australia, she failed to win back her seat. The APA also stood candidates in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and ACT.
Aside from Lees, the lead candidates in each electorate were: Reese Malcolm in New South Wales, Chris Grigsby in Victoria, Tony Newman in Queensland, Geoff Gibson in Western Australia and Jeannette Jolley in the ACT.
|Senate Electorate||Votes (%)|
|National Total||18,863 (0.14%)|