Country Liberal Party

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The Northern Territory Country Liberal Party (CLP) is a Northern Territory political party[1] affiliated with both the National (formerly "Country") and Liberal parties. It is a member of the Coalition.[2]

The CLP dominated the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from its establishment in 1978 to 2001, but lost Government in 2001 and was reduced to four parliamentary members in 2005. At the 9 August 2008 Legislative Assembly general election it gained a significant swing, gaining 11 out of the 25 Northern Territory Legislative Assembly seats.

Senator Nigel Scullion and Solomon MP Natasha Griggs are the CLP's only two representatives in federal parliament. Scullion is the deputy leader of the National Party and sits with the National Party in the Senate.

Contents

History

The Country Liberal Party (CLP) was established in the Northern Territory in 1974. The territory Country Party members first contested the 1919 federal election, with an established federal Country Party contesting the 1922 federal election. The 1922 election saw the main anti-Labor party, the Nationalist Party of Australia deprived of a majority, and were required to form a coalition in order to command a majority on the floor of parliament. The price for such support was the resignation of Nationalist (ex-Labor) Prime Minister, Billy Hughes, who was replaced by Stanley Bruce.

In 1966, the Country Party was established in the territory, while the Liberal Party was small. In recognition of this, the local Liberals supported the Country Party candidate for the sole NT seat from 1969 to 1972. An alliance had formed, primarily against the conservatives' arch-rivals the Australian Labor Party (ALP).

After the 1974 federal election and subsequent Joint Sitting of parliament, legislation was passed to create a unicameral Legislative Assembly, as well as members with full voting rights at a federal level. The local Country and Liberal Party members decided to form an independent "Country Liberal Party" (CLP) to field candidates for the Legislative Council in 1974.

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