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Queensland

Due to Brisbane having a much smaller share of 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. The Coalition was renewed in 1991, and won power under Rob Borbidge from 1996 to 1998.

In 2008, the two parties agreed to merge, forming the 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 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, 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 election, Nicholls stood down as LNP party leader and was succeeded by Deb Frecklington, who holds the ancestrally National seat of 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 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.[9] In practice, most LNP MPs from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast sit with the Liberals, while those from rural seats usually sit with the Nationals.

South Australia

The 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 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-fourths 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 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".[10] The party did not run candidates at the 2010 federal election, but ran one candidate in the seat of Barker and two for the Senate at the 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.[11]

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, which held the balance of power in 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 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.[12] In 2018, Senator 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.[13] However, Martin lost his bid for a new term.

Victoria

A Coalition between the Liberal and National parties exists in Victoria. The Liberal Party is led by Michael O'Brien[14] and the National Party by Peter Walsh.[15]

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 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.[16] However, McDonald saw this as an attempted Liberal takeover of the Country Party,[17][18] 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, 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 and 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 became leader of the Nationals shortly after the Kennett government's 1999 election defeat, he terminated the Coalition agreement and led the Nationals into the 2002 and 2006 elections separately from the Liberals.[19] However, the Coalition agreement was renewed in 2008 and the Victorian Liberal and National parties went into the 2010 election as a Coalition.[20] 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 election. The Coalition arrangement was maintained while the two parties were in opposition.

Western Australia

The Country Party was the stronger coalition partner from the 1933 state election to the 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 together.[21] This did not eventuate and the CDL did not join the new party.[22]

The 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 formed a minority government after the 2008 election. However, it was not characterised as a "traditional coalition", with limited cabinet collective responsibility for National cabinet members.[23] Tony Crook was elected as the WA Nationals candidate for the seat of 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.[24] The Liberals won enough seats for a majority in their own right in the 2013 state election, but Barnett had announced before the election that he would retain the coalition with the Nationals.[25] 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 Legislative Council all but forces the WA Liberals to depend on National support even when the Liberals have enough support to govern alone.[26] The Barnett government was heavily defeated at the 2017 state election, and the two parties went their separate ways in opposition.

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 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.[27] 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-area seat of 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

  1. ^ Ian Marsh (2006). "Australia's political cartel? Major parties and the party system in the era of globalisation". In Ian Marsh (ed.). Political Parties in Transition?. Federation Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-86287-593-7.
  2. ^ Irial Glynn (2016). Asylum Policy, Boat People and Political Discourse: Boats, Votes and Asylum in Australia and Italy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-137-51733-3.
  3. ^ Paul Davey (2006). The Nationals: The Progressive, Country, and National Party in New South Wales 1919–2006. Annandale, NSW: Federation Press. pp. 39–40. ISBN 9781862875265. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Origins". The Nationals. Archived from the original on 27 August 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2013.

    The Liberal Party is led by Gladys Berejiklian and the National Party by John Barilaro. The Coalition won the 2011 state election in a massive swing under Barry O'Farrell, the 2015 election with a reduced majority under 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. However, in 2020 the Nationals threatened to move to the crossbench over a dispute regarding koala protection laws.[8]

    Due to Brisbane having a much smaller share of 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. The Coalition was renewed in 1991, and won power under Rob Borbidge from 1996 to 1998.

    In 2008, the two parties agreed to merge, forming the 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 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, 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 election, Nicholls stood down as LNP party leader and was succeeded by Deb Frecklington, who holds the ancestrally National seat of 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 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.[9] In practice, most LNP MPs from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast sit with the Liberals, while those from rural seats usually sit with the Nationals.

    South Australia

    The 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 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-fourths 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 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".[10] The party did not run candidates at the 2010 federal election, but ran one candidate in the seat of Barker and two for the Senate at the 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.[11]

    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 196

    In 2008, the two parties agreed to merge, forming the 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 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, 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 election, Nicholls stood down as LNP party leader and was succeeded by Deb Frecklington, who holds the ancestrally National seat of 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 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.[9] In practice, most LNP MPs from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast sit with the Liberals, while those from rural seats usually sit with the Nationals.

    The 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 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-fourths 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 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

    From 2004 to 2010, Maywald was a Minister in the 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".[10] The party did not run candidates at the 2010 federal election, but ran one candidate in the seat of Barker and two for the Senate at the 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.[11]

    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, which held the balance of power in 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 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.[12] In 2018, Senator 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.[13] However, Martin lost his bid for a new term.

    Victoria

    A Coalition between the Liberal and National parties exists in Victoria. The Liberal Party is led by Michael O'Brien[14] and the National Party by Peter Walsh.[15]

    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 as Deputy Premier. In March 1949, the Liberals renamed the

    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 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.[16] However, McDonald saw this as an attempted Liberal takeover of the Country Party,[17][18] 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, 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 and 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 became leader of the Nationals shortly after the Kennett government's 1999 election defeat, he terminated the Coalition agreement and led the Nationals into the 2002 and 2006 elections separately from the Liberals.[19] However, the Coalition agreement was renewed in 2008 and the Victorian Liberal and National parties went into the 2010 election as a Coalition.[20] 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 election. The Coalition arrangement was maintained while the two parties were in opposition.

    The Country Party was the stronger coalition partner from the 1933 state election to the 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 together.[21] This did not eventuate and the CDL did not join the new pa

    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 together.[21] This did not eventuate and the CDL did not join the new party.[22]

    The 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 formed a minority government after the 2008 election. However, it was not characterised as a "traditional coalition", with limited cabinet collective responsibility for National cabinet members.[23] Tony Crook was elected as the WA Nationals candidate for the seat of 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.[24] The Liberals won enough seats for a majority in their own right in the 2013 state election, but Barnett had announced before the election that he would retain the coalition with the Nationals.[25] 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 Legislative Council all but forces the WA Liberals to depend on National support even when the Liberals have enough support to govern alone.[26] The Barnett government was heavily defeated at the 2017 state election, and the two parties went their separate ways in opposition.