Commonwealth Liberal Party

Commonwealth Liberal Party
Commonwealth Liberal Party
Leader Joseph Cook
Founded 1909
Dissolved 1916
Preceded by Free Trade Party,
Protectionist Party
Succeeded by Nationalist Party of Australia
Ideology Liberalism, Conservatism
Political position Centre-right
Politics of Australia
Political parties

The Commonwealth Liberal Party (CLP, also known as The Fusion, or the Deakinite Liberal Party) was a political movement active in Australia from 1909 to 1916, shortly after federation.

In 1909 Alfred Deakin, the leader of the Protectionist Party merged with the Anti-Socialist Party of Joseph Cook to form the CLP on a shared platform of opposing the Australian Labor Party. It was defeated by Labor at its first election held in 1910.

Under a new leader, Joseph Cook, the party defeated Labor in 1913 by a single seat, but in 1914 Cook called early elections and was defeated. In 1916 the Commonwealth Liberal Party merged with the National Labor Party, created a few months earlier by Billy Hughes and other pro-conscriptionist Labor MPs to form the Nationalist Party of Australia.

The Commonwealth Liberal Party is often referred to by the retronym the Deakinite Liberal Party in order to distinguish it from the modern Liberal Party of Australia.


See also


Alfred Deakin, Prime Minister of Australia 1903-1904, 1905-1908 (Protectionist Party), 1909-1910 (CLP)
Joseph Cook, Prime Minister of Australia 1913-1914

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