Nationalist Party of Australia

From Academic Kids

The Nationalist Party of Australia was an Australian political party. It was formed on 17 February 1917 from a merger of pro-conscription members of the Labor Party led by Prime Minister Billy Hughes (who had been operating under the banner 'National Labor' after their earlier split with the Labor Party) with the Commonwealth Liberal Party.

Hughes and the Nationalists governed on their own until the elections of 1922, when the newly emerged Country Party gained the balance of power in the House of Representatives. Country Party leader Earle Page demanded Hughes' resignation as party leader in return for their support. The Nationalists duly dumped Hughes, elected Stanley Bruce as leader, and formed a coalition government with the Country Party. The Bruce-Page government continued in office until 1929, when the embittered Hughes led a group of backbenchers to cross the floor on a vote on Bruce's plans to reform the industrial arbitration system. In the subsequent election, Bruce lost his own seat and the Nationalist Party ceased to exist as a real force in Australian politics.

In 1931, following negotiations with a group of Labor Party defectors led by Joseph Lyons, the Nationalist Party was absorbed into the new United Australia Party, with Lyons as leader.

Leaders


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