National Party of Australia

Published 11th August, 2013

The National Party of Australia or Nationals was founded in 1920 under the original name of the Country Party and has a history of being associated with rural interests. The party describes itself as Centre-right and believes in Conservatism and Agrarianism.

The party has a history of supporting free enterprise whilst defending rural interests and arguing for financial support from government for farmers. The Nationals have always demonstrated a strong commitment to the monarchy.

The Country Party (as it was then) entered a federal coalition with the Liberals in 1949 and shared power with them until 1972. In 1974 the party changed its name to the National Country Party and as such was a coalition partner with the Liberals in the 1975 to 1983 government. They also participated in the 1996 to 2007 Liberal led government but only after some arguments with the Liberals over the number of portfolios.

Since World War Two the party has maintained between 17 and 21 seats in the House of Representatives which has grown from 121 to 127 seats. In 1975 the Nationals reached their zenith by winning 23 of the 127 seats in the House of Representatives. Since then there has been a gradual decline in their support. In 2001 they had dropped to 13 seats and in 2004 to 12 seats. In the 2007 election they won 10 seats and in 2010 that dropped to six seats.

Their current leader is Warren truss MP.

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