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The Liberal–National Coalition, commonly known simply as "the Coalition", is an
alliance An alliance is a relationship among people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and ...
of
centre-right Centre-right politics (British English) or center-right politics (American English), also referred to as moderate-right politics, lean to the Right-wing politics, right of the Left–right politics, political spectrum, but are closer to the Centr ...
political parties that forms one of the two major groupings in Australian federal politics. The two partners in the Coalition are the
Liberal Party of Australia The Liberal Party of Australia is a major Centre-right politics, centre-right list of political parties in Australia, political party in Australia, one of the two Major party, major parties in politics of Australia, Australian politics, along w ...
and the
National Party of Australia The National Party of Australia (NPA), also known as The Nationals or The Nats, is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, and regional voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party (ACP) in 1 ...
(the latter previously known as the Country Party and the National Country Party). Its main opponent is the
Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), also simply known as Labor and historically spelt Labour, is the major centre-left Centre-left politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language ...
(ALP); the two forces are often regarded as operating in a
two-party system A two-party system is a Politics, political party system in which two major party, major political parties consistently dominate the political landscape. At any point in time, one of the two parties typically holds a majority in the legislature ...
. The Coalition has been in government since the 2013 federal election, most recently being re-elected in the
2019 Australian federal election The 2019 Australian federal election was held on Saturday 18 May 2019 to elect members of the 46th Parliament of Australia The Parliament of Australia (officially the Federal Parliament, also called the Commonwealth Parliament) is the ...
. The group is led by
Scott Morrison Scott John Morrison (; born 13 May 1968) is an Australian politician serving as the 30th and current prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest ...

Scott Morrison
as
Prime Minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or second-highest official in the Executive (government), executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing ...
since August 2018. The two parties in the Coalition have different voter bases, with the Liberals – the larger party – drawing most of their vote from urban areas and the Nationals operating almost exclusively in rural and regional areas. They occupy a broadly similar place on the centre-right of the
political spectrum A political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different political positions Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision makin ...

political spectrum
, although certain ideologies are more prevalent in each party. The partnership between the two current parties dates back to 1946, shortly after the Liberal Party was formed, and has continued almost uninterrupted since then. The Country Party also maintained similar alliances with the Liberal Party's predecessors, the
United Australia Party The United Australia Party (UAP) was an Australian political party that was founded in 1931 and dissolved in 1945. The party won four federal elections in that time, usually governing in coalition with the Country Party. It provided two Pri ...
and
Nationalist PartyNationalist Party may refer to: Current parties * Bangladesh Nationalist Party * Basque Nationalist Party * Cornish Nationalist Party * Nacionalista Party (Philippines) * Nationalist Movement Party (Turkey) * Nationalist Party of Canada * Nationalist ...
, and similar parties at state level. The first such federal arrangement was formed in 1923, as a solution to the
hung parliament A hung parliament is a term used in legislatures under the Westminster system to describe a situation in which no particular political party or pre-existing coalition (also known as an alliance or bloc) has an absolute majority of legislators (c ...
that resulted from the 1922 federal election. The Liberals and Nationals maintain separate organisational wings and separate parliamentary parties, but co-operate in various ways determined by a mixture of formal agreements and informal conventions. There is a single Coalition
frontbench In many parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislature, legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electora ...
, both in government and in
opposition Opposition may refer to: Arts and media * Opposition (Altars EP), ''Opposition'' (Altars EP), 2011 EP by Christian metalcore band Altars * The Opposition (band), a London post-punk band * ''The Opposition with Jordan Klepper'', a late-night tele ...
, with each party receiving a proportionate number of positions. By convention, the leader of the Liberal Party serves as the overall leader, serving as
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
when the Coalition is in government and
leader of the opposition The leader of the opposition is a title traditionally held by the leader of the Opposition (parliamentary), largest party not in government in a parliamentary democracy. The leader of the opposition is seen as the alternative prime minister, premi ...
when the Coalition is in opposition. The leader of the National Party becomes the deputy prime minister during periods of conservative government. The two parties co-operate on their
federal election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold Public administration, public office.Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
tickets in most states, and generally avoid running candidates against each other in the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies A legislature is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who use parliamentary procedure Parliamentary procedure is ...
. A merger of the Liberals and Nationals has been suggested on a number of occasions, but has never become a serious proposition. The relationship between the two parties varies at state and territory level. The situation in New South Wales and Victoria broadly mirrors that at federal level, while in Western Australia the parties are much more independent of each other. In the
Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; formally the Northern Territory of Australia) is an Australian territory in the central and central northern regions of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, ...
the territorial parties merged in 1974 to form the
Country Liberal Party The Country Liberal Party (CLP), officially the Country Liberals (Northern Territory), is a liberal conservative political party in Australia founded in 1974, which operates solely in the Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; for ...
(CLP), and in 2008 the Queensland state-level parties merged, forming the
Liberal National Party of Queensland The Liberal National Party of Queensland (LNP) is a major political party in Queensland, Australia Queensland ( ,) is a state situated in northeastern Australia, and is the States and territories of Australia, second-largest and third-most ...
(LNP). LNP and CLP members elected to federal parliament do not form separate parliamentary parties, joining either the Liberals or Nationals. In South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, the Nationals have no sitting MPs and little or no organisational presence.


History

The origins of the Coalition date back to the 1922 federal election, when the
Nationalist PartyNationalist Party may refer to: Current parties * Bangladesh Nationalist Party * Basque Nationalist Party * Cornish Nationalist Party * Nacionalista Party (Philippines) * Nationalist Movement Party (Turkey) * Nationalist Party of Canada * Nationalist ...
, the main middle-class non-Labor party of the time, lost the absolute majority it had held since its formation in 1917. The Nationalists could only stay in office with the support of the two-year-old Country Party. It soon became apparent that a
confidence and supply In a parliamentary democracy A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democracy, democratic government, governance of a sovereign state, state (or subordinate entity) where the Executive (government), executive de ...
agreement would not be enough to keep the Nationalists in office. However, Country Party leader
Earle Page Sir Earle Christmas Grafton Page, (8 August 188020 December 1961) was an Australian surgeon and politician who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Australia, holding office for 19 days after the death of Joseph Lyons in 1939. He was the leade ...

Earle Page
had never trusted the Nationalist Prime Minister,
Billy Hughes William Morris Hughes, (25 September 1862 – 28 October 1952), was an Australian politician who served as the 7th Prime Minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is eithe ...

Billy Hughes
. Indeed, the Country Party had been formed in part due to discontent with Hughes' rural policy. Page not only let it be known that he would not serve under Hughes, but demanded Hughes' resignation before he would even consider coalition talks. Hughes resigned, and Page then entered negotiations with the new Nationalist leader,
Stanley Bruce Stanley Melbourne Bruce, 1st Viscount Bruce of Melbourne, (15 April 1883 – 25 August 1967) was the List of prime ministers of Australia by time in office, 8th Prime Minister of Australia from 1923 to 1929. He made wide-ranging reforms ...

Stanley Bruce
. The Country Party's terms were unusually stiff for a prospective junior partner in a
Westminster system The Westminster system or Westminster model is a type of parliamentary A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic Democrat, Democrats, or Democratic may refer to: *A proponent of democracy Democracy ...
(and especially so for a relatively new party)--five seats in an 11-member cabinet, as well as the
Treasurer A treasurer is the person responsible for running the treasury A treasury is either *A government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level executi ...
's post and second rank in the ministry for Page. Nonetheless, Bruce agreed rather than force a new election. Since then, the leader of the Country Party, which evolved into the National Party, has ranked second in nearly all non-Labor governments, a status formalised in 1967 when the post of Deputy Prime Minister was formally created to denote Country leader
John McEwen Sir John McEwen, (29 March 1900 – 20 November 1980) was an Australian politician who served as the 18th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
's status as the number-two man in the government. The Nationalist–Country Coalition was reelected twice, and continued in office until its defeat in 1929. The Country Party and the Nationalists' successor party, the
United Australia Party The United Australia Party (UAP) was an Australian political party that was founded in 1931 and dissolved in 1945. The party won four federal elections in that time, usually governing in coalition with the Country Party. It provided two Pri ...
, fought the 1931 federal election with a joint Senate ticket, though they ran separate House tickets. The UAP came up only four seats short of a majority in its own right. The
Emergency Committee of South Australia The Emergency Committee of South Australia was the major anti-Australian Labor Party, Labor grouping in South Australia at the 1931 Australian federal election, 1931 federal election. History The Emergency Committee arose as a consequence of the fi ...
, which stood for the UAP and Country Party in South Australia, joined the UAP
party room A parliamentary group, parliamentary party, or parliamentary caucus is a group consisting of members of the same political party or electoral fusion of parties in a legislative assembly such as a parliament or a city council. Parliamentary groups ...
, giving the UAP enough support to rule alone. However, the parties once again joined in a full Coalition government following the 1934 federal election. After the death of Prime Minister
Joseph Lyons Joseph Aloysius Lyons (15 September 1879 – 7 April 1939) was an Australian politician who served as the 10th Prime Minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the ...

Joseph Lyons
in April 1939, Page was appointed as his successor on an interim basis, pending the new election of a new UAP leader. Despite Page's misgivings, the UAP elected
Robert Menzies Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, (; 20 December 189415 May 1978), was an Australian politician who served as the 12th prime minister of Australia, in office from 1939 to 1941 and again from 1949 to 1966. He played a central role in the creation of ...
– who was known to dislike the Country Party. Page subsequently made a vitriolic speech in parliament attacking Menzies's character, and withdrew his party from the coalition – the most recent occasion on which the coalition has been broken while in government. However, a number of Page's colleagues disagreed with his stance, and he resigned as leader in September 1939. He was replaced by
Archie Cameron Archie Galbraith Cameron (22 March 18959 August 1956) was an Australian politician. He was a government minister under Joseph Lyons and Robert Menzies Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, (; 20 December 189415 May 1978), was an Australian politician w ...
, and after months of negotiations the coalition was revived in March 1940, with five Country MPs joining the second Menzies Ministry. After losing eight seats at the 1940 federal election, the Coalition was plunged into
minority government A minority government, minority cabinet, minority administration, or a minority parliament is a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Art ...
for the first time in its history. Archie Cameron was an immediate victim of the election result, being replaced by
Arthur Fadden Sir Arthur William Fadden, (13 April 189421 April 1973) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia from 29 August to 7 October 1941. He was the leader of the Country Party from 1940 to 1958. Fadden was born in Ing ...

Arthur Fadden
and later defecting to the UAP. Menzies increasingly struggled to balance his management of Australia's war effort with domestic concerns, and his party began to rebel against him. However, the UAP was bereft of leadership despite having been in power for a decade. With this in mind, in August 1941 the Coalition collectively decided that Fadden and Menzies should swap positions, with Menzies becoming Minister for Defence Co-ordination and Fadden becoming prime minister. It was the first and only occasion on which the Coalition was led by the leader of the junior party. However, the
Fadden Government The Fadden Government was the federal executive government of Australia led by Prime Minister Arthur Fadden, as leader of the Country Party. He was appointed prime minister on 29 August 1941, during World War II, following the resignation of Rob ...
only lasted a few months before losing a
confidence motion A motion of no confidence, vote of no confidence, or no confidence motion, sometimes in the reverse as a motion of confidence or vote of confidence, is a statement or vote about whether a person in a position of responsibility (government, manager ...
and being replaced by the Labor Party in the form of the
Curtin Government The Curtin Government was the federal executive government of Australia led by Prime Minister John Curtin John Curtin (8 January 1885 – 5 July 1945) was an Australian politician who served as the 14th Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 u ...
. After the demise of the Fadden Government, the Coalition voted to continue on under his leadership in opposition. Menzies had opposed this, and resigned as UAP leader, to be replaced by the ageing
Billy Hughes William Morris Hughes, (25 September 1862 – 28 October 1952), was an Australian politician who served as the 7th Prime Minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is eithe ...

Billy Hughes
. Up until the 1943 election, the Coalition effectively operated as a single unit, with separate party meetings being extremely rare. However, the landslide defeat it suffered – under Fadden as opposition leader – led to an immediate change in strategy. The UAP voted to break off its ties with the Country Party in opposition, and re-elected Menzies as its leader. This is the most recent occasion on which the senior partner in the Coalition has adopted to withdraw. The UAP was folded into the Liberal Party in 1945, with Menzies as leader. In the lead-up to the 1946 federal election, Menzies renewed the Coalition with the Country Party, which was still led by Fadden. They won the 1949 federal election as a Coalition, and stayed in office for a record 23 years. Since 1946, the Coalition has remained intact with two exceptions, both in opposition. The parties decided not to form a coalition opposition following their defeat in
1972 Within the context of Coordinated Universal Time Coordinated Universal Time or UTC is the primary time standard A time standard is a specification for measuring time: either the rate at which time passes; or points in time; or both. ...
, but went into the 1974 federal election as a Coalition. The Coalition remained together upon entering opposition in 1983 federal election. The Coalition suffered another break, related to the "
Joh for Canberra The Joh for Canberra campaign, initially known as the Joh for PM campaign, was an attempt by Queensland National Party premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen to become Prime Minister of Australia. The campaign was announced in January 1987 and drew sub ...
" campaign, from April to August 1987, the rift healing after the 1987 federal election. The solidity of the Coalition is so strong that when the Liberals won parliamentary majorities in their own right in the
1975 It was also declared the ''International Women's Year'' by the United Nations and the European Architectural Heritage Year by the Council of Europe. Events January * January – The Altair 8800, an early microcomputer, appears on the cover ...
,
1977 Events January * January – The world's first all-in-one home computer (keyboard/screen/tape storage), the Commodore PET, is demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. * January 3 – Apple Inc., Apple Computer is incorpor ...
and
1996 federal election 1996 was designated as: * International Year for the Eradication of Poverty Events January * January 3 – Motorola introduces the Motorola StarTAC Wearable Cellular Telephone, the first clamshell mobile phone. * January 5 – Hamas ...
s, the Coalition was retained. In the 2007 federal election, the Coalition lost to the Labor Party and went into opposition. The Coalition regained office in the 2013 federal election as a majority government. In October 2018, the Coalition went into minority government for the second time in its history, when the seat of Wentworth was won by Independent
Kerryn Phelps Kerryn Lyndel Phelps (born 14 December 1957) is an Australian medical practitioner, public health and civil rights advocate, medical educator and politician. She was the first woman to be elected president of the Australian Medical Association ...
in the
by-election A by-election (also spelled bye-election), also known as a special election in the United States and the Philippines, or a bypoll (India), is an election used to fill an office that has become vacant between general elections. In most cases these ...
. The by-election was triggered by the resignation of incumbent Liberal MP
Malcolm Turnbull Malcolm Bligh Turnbull (born 24 October 1954) is a former Australian politician who served as the 29th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...

Malcolm Turnbull
, who was ousted as Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader during a spill motion earlier in August 2018. The coalition formed majority government again following the 2019 federal election.


Electoral organisation

Coalition arrangements are facilitated by Australia's
preferential voting Preferential voting or preference voting (PV) may refer to different Electoral system, election systems or groups of election systems: * Ranked voting methods, all election methods that involve ranking candidates in order of preference (United Sta ...
systems which enable Liberals and Nationals to compete locally in "
three-cornered-contest Vote splitting is an election, electoral effect in which the distribution of votes among multiple similar candidates reduces the chance of winning for any of the similar candidates, and increases the chance of winning for a dissimilar candidate. ...
s", with the
Australian Labor Party The Australian Labor Party (ALP), also simply known as Labor and historically spelt Labour, is the major centre-left Centre-left politics (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language ...
(ALP), while exchanging preferences in elections. Such contests would weaken their prospects under
first-past-the-post voting In a first-past-the-post electoral system (FPTP or FPP; sometimes formally called single-member plurality voting or SMP; sometimes called choose-one voting for single-member districts, in contrast to ranked voting, ranked-choice voting), voter ...
. From time to time, friction is caused by the fact that the Liberal and National candidates are campaigning against each other, without long-term damage to the relationship. Indeed, the whole point of introducing preferential voting was to allow safe spoiler-free, three-cornered contests. It was a government of the
Nationalist PartyNationalist Party may refer to: Current parties * Bangladesh Nationalist Party * Basque Nationalist Party * Cornish Nationalist Party * Nacionalista Party (Philippines) * Nationalist Movement Party (Turkey) * Nationalist Party of Canada * Nationalist ...
, a forerunner to the modern Liberal Party which introduced the legislation, following Labor's unexpected win at the
1918 Swan by-electionThe 1918 Swan by-election was a by-election A by-election (also spelled bye-election), also known as a special election in the United States and the Philippines, or a bypoll (India), is an election used to fill an office that has become vacant betwe ...
where the conservative vote split. Two months later, the Corangamite by-election held under preferential voting caused the initially leading ALP candidate to lose after some lower-placed candidates' preferences had been distributed. As a result of variations on the preferential voting system used in every state and territory, the Coalition has been able to thrive, wherever both its member parties have both been active. The preferential voting system has allowed the Liberal and National parties to compete and co-operate at the same time. By contrast, a variation of the preferential system known as
optional preferential voting One of the ways in which ranked voting systems vary is whether an individual vote must express a minimum number of preferences to avoid being considered spoilt vote, invalid ("spoiled" or "informal"). Possibilities are: * Full preferential voting ...
has proven a significant handicap to coalition co-operation in
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
and
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
, because significant numbers of voters do not express all useful preferences.


Nomenclature

Due to a disciplined coalition between the parties and their predecessors being in existence for almost 100 years with only a few brief cessations within a parliamentary system, most commentators and the general public often refer to the Coalition as if it were a single party. Polling and electoral results contain a
two-party-preferred In Australian politics, the two-party-preferred vote (TPP or 2PP) is the result of an election or opinion poll after preferences have been distributed to the highest two candidates, who in some cases can be independents. For the purposes of TPP, ...
(TPP) vote which is based on Labor and the Coalition. The
Australian Electoral Commission The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is the independent federal agency in charge of organising, conducting and supervising federal Australian elections, by-elections and referendums. States and territories State and local government el ...
has distinguished between "traditional" (Coalition/Labor) two-party-preferred (TPP/2PP) contests, and "non-traditional" (
Independent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of modernist painters based in the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area of the United States during the early 1930s * Independen ...
,
Greens Greens may refer to: *Leaf vegetable Leaf vegetables, also called leafy greens, salad greens, pot herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. Althou ...
, Liberal vs National) two-candidate-preferred (TCP/2CP) contests. At the 2010 federal election, all eight seats which resulted in a two-candidate-preferred result were re-counted to also express a statistical-only "traditional" two-party-preferred result.


Federal election results


House of Representatives


States and territories


New South Wales

A Coalition between the
Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
(and predecessors) and
National National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
parties has existed without interruption in
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
since 1927. Predecessors of the NSW Liberal Party, including the UAP, Nationalist Party and the
Democratic PartyDemocratic Party most often refers to: *Democratic Party (United States) Democratic Party and similar terms may also refer to: Active parties Africa *Botswana Democratic Party *Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea *Gabonese Democratic Party *Democ ...
, maintained a coalition with the Country Party (old name of National Party). The Liberal Party is led by
Dominic Perrottet Dominic Francis Perrottet (born 21 September 1982), an Australian politician, is the Government of New South Wales, New South Wales Treasurer of New South Wales, Treasurer since January 2017 in the Gladys Berejiklian, Berejiklian government. Perro ...
and the National Party by
Paul Toole Paul Lawrence Toole, an Australian politician, is the Deputy Leader of the National Party of Australia – NSW, New South Wales Nationals since 2019. Toole is the Government of New South Wales, New South Wales Minister for Transport (New South Wal ...
. The Coalition won the 2011 state election in a massive swing under
Barry O'Farrell Barry Robert O'Farrell (born 24 May 1959) is a former Australian politician who is Australia's List of Australian High Commissioners to India, High Commissioner to India since May 2020. O'Farrell was the 43rd Premier of New South Wales and Mini ...

Barry O'Farrell
, the 2015 election with a reduced majority under
Mike Baird Michael Bruce Baird (born 1 April 1968) is an Australian investment banker and former politician who was the 44th Premier of New South Wales The Premier of New South Wales is the head of government in the state of New South Wales New So ...

Mike Baird
, and the 2019 election under Gladys Berejiklian. New South Wales is the only state where the non-Labor Coalition has never broken, and yet has also never merged. This remained the case even in 2011, when the Liberals won a majority in their own right but still retained the Coalition. On 10 September 2020, the Nationals threatened to move to the crossbench over a dispute regarding
koala The koala or, inaccurately, koala bear (''Phascolarctos cinereus''), is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only Extant taxon, extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae and its closest living relative ...

koala
protection laws, but the issue was resolved the next day and the Nationals remained in the Coalition.


Queensland

Due to
Brisbane Brisbane ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller low ...

Brisbane
having a much smaller share of
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...

Queensland
's population compared to the other state capitals, Queensland is the only state in which the Nationals have consistently been the stronger non-Labor party. The Nationals were the senior partner in the non-Labor Coalition from 1925 until the Coalition was broken in 1983. At an election held two months later, the Nationals under Joh Bjelke-Petersen came up one seat short of a majority, but later gained a majority when two Liberal MLAs crossed the floor to join the Nationals. The Nationals then governed in their own right until 1989 Queensland state election, 1989. The Coalition was renewed in 1991, and won power under Rob Borbidge from 1996 to 1998 Queensland state election, 1998. The Queensland Liberals and Nationals had contested separately for the Senate in federal elections until the 2007 Australian federal election, 2007 election, when they ran a join Senate ticket for the first time in 30 years. In 2008, the two parties agreed to merge, forming the Liberal National Party of Queensland, Liberal National Party (LNP), under the leadership of former National Lawrence Springborg. Although it is dominated by former Nationals, it has full voting rights within the Liberal Party and observer status within the National Party. Springborg stood down in 2009, and was succeeded by former Liberal John-Paul Langbroek. The LNP won an overwhelming majority government in the 2012 Queensland state election, 2012 state election under the leadership of former Liberal Campbell Newman, who had taken over from Langbroek a year earlier. However, it lost power in 2015 Queensland state election, 2015, and Springborg returned to the leadership, only to lose a challenge by former Liberal Tim Nicholls in May 2016. Following another loss in the 2017 Queensland state election, 2017 election, Nicholls stood down as LNP party leader and was succeeded by Deb Frecklington, who holds the ancestrally National seat of electoral district of Nanango, Nanango, Bjelke-Petersen's old seat. At the federal level, six LNP MPs sit with the Nationals and 16 with the Liberals. LNP Senator Matt Canavan sits with the Nationals, while the LNP's four other Senators sit with the Liberals. The highest-profile LNP MP in recent years has been former federal Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss. The LNP has an informal agreement with its federal counterparts as to which party room in which LNP members will sit. Incumbent MPs retain their previous federal affiliations, whereas members who win seats from the ALP that previously belonged to the Coalition will sit with the previous member's party. An amicable division of seats was decided upon for new seats or seats that have never been won by the Coalition. In practice, most LNP MPs from Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Queensland, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Sunshine Coast sit with the Liberals, while those from rural seats usually sit with the Nationals.


South Australia

The Country Party (South Australia), state branch of the Country Party merged with the Liberal Federation, the state branch of the UAP, in 1932 to form the Liberal and Country League. A separate Country Party (later National Party of Australia (SA), Nationals SA) was revived in 1963, though the main non-Labor party in South Australia continued to use the LCL name until 1973, when it became the state division of the Liberal Party. The revived SA Nationals have never been successful in South Australia, due to the state's highly centralised population (some three-quarters of the population lives in Adelaide) and the Liberals' strong support in rural areas that would tilt National in most of the rest of Australia. The party's current incarnation has only elected two representatives: Peter Blacker from 1973 to 1993, and Karlene Maywald from 1997 to 2010. From 2004 to 2010, Maywald was a Minister in the Mike Rann, Rann Labor Government, before losing her seat at the 2010 South Australian state election, thereby informally creating a Labor-National coalition in South Australia. The National Party, at the time, rejected the notion that it was in a coalition with Labor at the state level. State National Party President John Venus told journalists, "We (The Nationals) are not in coalition with the Labor Party, we aren't in coalition with the Liberals, we are definitely not in coalition with anyone. We stand alone in South Australia as an independent party." Flinders University political scientist Haydon Manning disagreed, saying that it is "churlish to describe the government as anything but a coalition". The party did not run candidates at the 2010 federal election, but ran one candidate in the seat of Division of Barker, Barker and two for the Senate at the 2013 Australian federal election, 2013 election. The Nationals candidate for Barker and several other Coalition figures assured electors that any Nationals elected from South Australia would be part of the Coalition, after comments from the Liberal candidate to the contrary.


Tasmania

The National Party has never done well in Tasmania, even though its first leader, William McWilliams, was a Tasmanian. It has elected only two other lower house members. A Tasmania branch of the then-Country Party was formed in 1922 and briefly held the balance of power, but merged with the Nationalists in 1924. It was refounded in 1962, but never gained much ground. In 1969, Liberal MHA Kevin Lyons, the son of former Prime Minister Lyons, pulled together most of the Tasmanian Country Party into the Centre Party (Tasmania), Centre Party, which held the balance of power in 1969 Tasmanian state election, that year's state election. It threw its support to the Liberals, and Lyons—the Centre Party's lone MHA—became Deputy Premier. The Liberal-Centre alliance fell apart in 1972, forcing 1972 Tasmanian state election, an early election. In 1975, what remained of the Centre Party became the Tasmanian chapter of what was by now the National Country Party before fading away completely. A Tasmanian National Party branch was briefly revived in the 1990s before it too disappeared, leaving the Liberal Party as the sole major non-Labor party in the state. In 2018, Senator Steve Martin (Australian politician), Steve Martin, formerly of the Jacqui Lambie Network, joined the Nationals, becoming the party's first federal member from Tasmania in either chamber in 90 years. However, Martin lost his bid for a new term.


Victoria

A Coalition between the Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division), Liberal and National Party of Australia – Victoria, National parties exists in Victoria (Australia), Victoria. The Liberal Party is led by Matthew Guy and the National Party by Peter Walsh (Victorian politician), Peter Walsh. The Country Party was the stronger coalition partner on multiple occasions from the 1920s through to the 1950s, and Country leaders served as Premier of Victoria on five separate occasions. However, the relationship between the two parties was somewhat strained for most of the second half of the 20th century. In 1948, the coalition was broken when the Liberal leader and Premier Thomas Hollway sacked Country leader John McDonald (Victorian politician), John McDonald as Deputy Premier. In March 1949, the Liberals renamed themselves the Liberal and Country Party as part of an effort to merge the two non-Labor parties in Victoria. However, McDonald saw this as an attempted Liberal takeover of the Country Party, and the Country Party turned the proposed merger down. As a result, both parties competed against each other and fought elections separately from 1952 to 1989. The presence of
John McEwen Sir John McEwen, (29 March 1900 – 20 November 1980) was an Australian politician who served as the 18th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highe ...
, a Victorian, as number-two man in the federal government from 1958 to 1971 (including a brief stint as interim Prime Minister) did little to change this. The Liberals and Nationals reached a Coalition agreement in 1990. They fought and won the 1992 Victorian state election, 1992 and 1996 Victorian state election, 1996 elections as a Coalition under the leadership of Jeff Kennett. Although the Liberals won enough seats to govern alone, Kennett retained the Nationals in his government. When Peter Ryan (politician), Peter Ryan became leader of the Nationals shortly after the Kennett government's 1999 Victorian state election, 1999 election defeat, he terminated the Coalition agreement and led the Nationals into the 2002 Victorian state election, 2002 and 2006 Victorian state election, 2006 elections separately from the Liberals. However, the Coalition agreement was renewed in 2008 and the Victorian Liberal and National parties went into the 2010 Victorian state election, 2010 election as a Coalition. The Coalition ended up winning the 2010 election with a one-seat margin under the leadership of Ted Baillieu, who resigned in 2013 and was succeeded by Denis Napthine. The Coalition lost power at the 2014 Victorian state election, 2014 election. The Coalition arrangement was maintained while the two parties were in opposition. According to The Age, between November 2018 and November 2021, the Coalition's Legislative Council members voted with the Andrews Government's position 28.9% of the time; of the parties in the Legislative Council, only the Liberal Democratic Party (Australia), Liberal Democratic Party had a lower figure (22.1%).


Western Australia

The National Party of Australia (WA), Country Party was the stronger coalition partner from the 1933 Western Australian state election, 1933 state election to the 1947 Western Australian state election, 1947 state election, although the Coalition did not form government during this period. Western Australia has never had a premier from the Country/National Party. In May 1949, the Liberal and Country League (Western Australia) was formed to attempt to merge Country Party (then called County Democratic League or CDL) and Liberal Party of Australia (Western Australian Division), Liberal Party together. This did not eventuate and the CDL did not join the new party. The National Party of Australia (WA), National Party was in Coalition with the Liberal Party government from 1993 to 2001 (see Hendy Cowan), but the Coalition was subsequently broken. In 2008, the Liberals under Colin Barnett, the Nationals under Brendon Grylls, and independent John Bowler (politician), John Bowler formed a minority government after the 2008 Western Australian state election, 2008 election. However, it was not characterised as a "traditional coalition", with limited cabinet collective responsibility for National cabinet members. Tony Crook (politician), Tony Crook was elected as the WA Nationals candidate for the seat of Division of O'Connor, O'Connor at the 2010 federal election. Although some reports initially counted Crook as a National MP, and thus part of the Coalition, Crook sat as a crossbencher. The Liberals won enough seats for a majority in their own right in the 2013 Western Australian state election, 2013 state election, but Barnett had announced before the election that he would retain the coalition with the Nationals. However, Barnett would have likely had to keep the Nationals in his government in any event. According to the ABC's Antony Green, the rural weighting in the Western Australian Legislative Council, Legislative Council all but forces the WA Liberals to depend on National support even when the Liberals have enough support to govern alone. The Barnett government was heavily defeated at the 2017 Western Australian state election, 2017 state election, and the two parties went their separate ways with Liberal Party being the sole opposition party. In the 2021 Western Australian state election, 2021 election, the Liberal Party ended up winning fewer seats than the National Party, headed by Mia Davies, with the National Party gaining opposition status and Davies becoming the first Nationals opposition leader since 1947 Western Australian state election, 1947. Following the election, the Liberal Party and Nationals Party entered into a formal alliance to form opposition, with National Party being the senior party and the Liberal Party being the junior party in the alliance. Shadow ministerial positions were also held by parliamentary members of both parties. This was similar to the agreements between both parties when they were in government following the 2008 Western Australian state election, 2008 and 2013 Western Australian state election, 2013 elections. Similar to the 2008 and 2013 agreements, the deputy leader of the senior party, Nationals deputy leader Shane Love, was the deputy opposition leader, instead of the leader of the junior party, Liberal Party leader David Honey. Under the alliance, each party maintained their independence, and could speak out on issues when there was a disagreement with their partner.


Territories

*Australian Capital Territory: The National Party is not affiliated in the Australian Capital Territory, leaving the Liberal Party as the sole major non-Labor party in the territory. *Northern Territory: The two parties' branches in the Northern Territory merged in 1974, forming the
Country Liberal Party The Country Liberal Party (CLP), officially the Country Liberals (Northern Territory), is a liberal conservative political party in Australia founded in 1974, which operates solely in the Northern Territory The Northern Territory (NT; for ...
. The CLP governed the Territory from 1974 to 2001 and from 2012 to 2016. The CLP retains full voting rights within the federal National Party, and has observer status with the federal Liberal Party. The CLP directs its federal members of the House and Senate whether to sit with the federal Liberals or Nationals. In practice, since the mid-1980s, CLP House members have sat with the Liberals while CLP Senators sit with the Nationals. For example, Natasha Griggs, who held the Darwin, Northern Territory, Darwin-area seat of Division of Solomon, Solomon from 2010 to 2016, sat with the Liberals during her tenure in Canberra. CLP Senator Nigel Scullion was the leader of the Nationals in the Senate from 2007 to 2008, when he was succeeded by Barnaby Joyce. He was the federal deputy leader of the Nationals, alongside Truss, from 2007 to 2013. Joyce became federal Nationals deputy leader after his successful transition to the House of Representatives at the 2013 election, and Scullion returned as the Nationals Senate leader.


References


External links


Liberals site

Nationals site

LNP site

CLP site


{{National Party of Australia Political party alliances in Australia Conservatism in Australia Liberalism in Australia Liberal Party of Australia National Party of Australia