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Liberal Reform Party (Australia)

Liberal Reform Party
LeaderCharles Lee
Joseph Carruthers
Charles Wade
Founded1901 (1901)
Dissolved1917 (1917)
Preceded byFree Trade Party (NSW)
Merged intoNationalist Party
Liberal conservatism
Political positionCentre-right
National affiliationFree Trade Party (1901–1906)
Anti-Socialist Party (1906–1909)
Fusion Liberal Party (1909–1917)

The Liberal Reform Party was an Australian political party, active in New South Wales state politics between 1901 and 1916. It drew much of its support from Protestant and Temperance groups.[1]


The question of tariff policy which, had created and divided the Free Trade Party and Protectionist Party in New South Wales in the 1890s, became a federal issue at the time of federation. Deprived of their main ideological difference, the two parties were recreated as the Liberal Reform Party, aligned with the federal Free Trade Party, and the Progressive Party, aligned with the federal Protectionist Party. The Progressive Party's vote collapsed at the 1904 election and many of its members then joined the Liberal Reform Party.[2] By 1907, the Liberal Reform Party was left as the main centre-right party in New South Wales.

In 1916, the Liberal Reform Party formed a coalition with the pro-conscription elements of the state Labor Party under Premier William Holman. In 1917, Liberal Reform merged with the pro-conscription elements of Labor to form the New South Wales branch of the Nationalist Party of Australia. As was the case with the federal Nationalists, the new party was dominated by former Liberal Reformers, but Holman was the merged party's leader.


# Leader Term start Term end Time in office Premier
1 Charles Lee April 1901 17 September 1902 1 year, 5 months No
2 Joseph Carruthers 17 September 1902 1 October 1907 5 years, 15 days Yes (1904–1907)
3 Charles Wade 2 October 1907 17 February 1917 9 years, 138 days Yes (1907–1910)

State election results

Election Seats won ± Total votes % Position Leader
37 / 125
Decrease8 65,420 33.55% Opposition Charles Lee
45 / 90
Increase8 176,796 44.58% Minority government Joseph Carruthers
45 / 90
Steady0 210,456 45.91% Minority government Joseph Carruthers
37 / 90
Decrease8 246,360 43.03% Opposition Charles Wade
38 / 90
Increase1 298,899 44.70% Opposition Charles Wade


  1. ^ Facts and Figures – Political Parties of NSW (Overview) Archived 10 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "1901 to 1918 – The Early Federal Period and the First World War". Retrieved 15 October 2019.
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Liberal Reform Party (Australia)
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