Country Liberal Party

Country Liberal Party
Country Liberal Party
Leader Terry Mills
Founded 1974
Headquarters 107 Woods Street
Darwin NT 0800
Ideology Liberal conservatism
Political position Centre-right
House of Representatives
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Country Liberal Party
Politics of Australia
Political parties

The Northern Territory Country Liberal Party (CLP) is a Northern Territory political party[1] affiliated with both the National (formerly "Country") and Liberal parties. The CLP contests seats for the Coalition in the Northern Territory rather than the Liberal or National parties.[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.



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.

Northern Territory Self-Government occurred on 1 July 1978.

In 1979, the CLP formally affiliated with both the then-National Country Party and Liberal Party. These affiliations remain to this day, and relations with both parties are close. However, the CLP has had no major opportunities to sway the actions of either.

Both the Nationals and Liberals receive Country Liberal Party delegations, and the party president has full voting rights with the National Party and observer status with the Liberal Party. The party also directs its federal members and senators as to which of the two other parties they should sit with in the parliamentary chamber. The CLP vote is often tabulated together with either of its coalition partners in many election results tables, or included within a single Coalition vote.

Northern Territory politics

The CLP has contested Northern Territory Legislative Assembly elections since 1974. General elections were held in 1974, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1987, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2008.

The CLP won control of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly at every election until 2001, when the ALP won. The loss marked a major turning point in Northern Territory politics, a result which was exacerbated when, at the 2005 NT election, the ALP won a second landslide victory, reducing the once-dominant party to a total of just four members in the Legislative Assembly.

The Legislative Assembly general election held on 9 August 2008 saw the CLP reverse its earlier election losses, increasing its representation from four to 11 members.

The CLP has also contested many Legislative Assembly by-elections.

Parliamentary Leaders

Year Name Notes
1974 Goff Letts Majority Leader[Note 1]
1977 Paul Everingham Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
1984 Ian Tuxworth Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
1986 Stephen Hatton Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
1988 Marshall Perron Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
1995 Shane Stone Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
1999 Denis Burke Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
2003 Terry Mills First time
2005 Denis Burke
2005 Jodeen Carney
2008 Terry Mills Incumbent
  1. ^ While the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly was created in 1974, self-government was not granted until 1978.


  1. ^ NT Country Liberal Party, Current Register of Political Parties Australian Electoral Commission, 29 May 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Country Liberal Party". Retrieved 2011-02-01. 

External links

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