The National Party of Western Australia
is a political party
in Western Australia
. It is affiliated with the National Party of Australia
but maintains a separate structure and identity.
Founded in 1913 to represent the interests of farmers and pastoralists, it was the first agrarian party in Australia to contest and win seats at the 1914 state election
. Since then, it has continuously held seats in the state's Legislative Assembly
and Legislative Council
, particularly in the state's Wheatbelt
region, and for many years it also held Federal seats. While the party had historically functioned as part of a two-party coalition with the centre-right Liberal Party
(and its predecessors) for most of its existence, tensions have always existed over the coalition arrangement, and on two occasions the party split over the issue.
Since the passage of reforms initiated by the Labor Party
to the electoral system reducing the number of non-metropolitan seats, the Nationals have refashioned themselves as an independent third party in Western Australian politics in an effort to ensure their survival and continued representation for agrarian interests in Parliament.
In 2005 the party confirmed its intention to maintain parliamentary independence from the Liberal Party. In 2007, leader Brendon Grylls
stated that the party "took a significant step and said no to a traditional coalition with the Liberal Party and will contest the election
as a stand-alone conservative... Read More