From "Unstable" to "Stable" Minority Government: Reflections on the Role of the Nationals in Federal Coalition Governments

Linda BOTTERILL, Geoff Cockfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


In contrast to some other jurisdictions, in Australia, governments relying on minor parties and independents to enact policies and especially to hold power, are readily characterised by oppositions and commentators as unstable, even chaotic and an undesirable deviation from the stability of majority parliaments. The almost unremarked exception is the Liberals' long and frequent reliance on the National Party and its predecessors to form government. This paper explores the role of the National Party in minority Coalition governments and considers why this form of minority government attracts so little comment, noting the inter-party and intra-party systems and strategies that give the appearance of stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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