The formation of the Queensland Liberal National Party: origins, prospects and implications for Australian political systems

Cockfield, Geoff (2020) The formation of the Queensland Liberal National Party: origins, prospects and implications for Australian political systems. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 66 (1). pp. 78-93. ISSN 0004-9522


In Australia, two‐and‐a‐half party systems are common with the Liberal and National parties, usually needing to collaborate to form governments. In Queensland, the 2008 merger of two of these state parties to create the Liberal National Party (LNP) created instead a two‐party system. This review examines the forces for the merger and prospects for the continuation of the LNP, the likelihood of change as a result of the Queensland merger in the remaining two‐and‐a‐half party systems, and how the drivers of this merger compare with those observed in studies of other non‐Australian party and electoral systems. Pressures and conditions for a merger similar to those in other, mostly European systems, were evident in the case of the LNP. The particular structure of the pre‐merger party competition and relationships was, however, a likely factor in the merger in that two collaborating parties could avoid a contested switch in party seniority. This aspect, unlikely to occur in other Australian party systems, combined with the very limited success of the LNP in gaining and holding government since the merger, does not suggest an imperative for further mergers in other Australian systems.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce (1 Jul 2013 - 17 Jan 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2020 02:34
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 03:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: party systems, party mergers
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160601 Australian Government and Politics
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440801 Australian government and politics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940203 Political Systems
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