WA Liberal and National Parties Join Forces to Form New Opposition

April 20, 2021 Updated: April 20, 2021

The Western Australia Liberal and National parties have entered into a formal alliance as the new opposition to WA’s recently elected Labor party.

In a crushing defeat during the WA elections, the Liberals garnered only two seats—less than the National party’s four—making it the first time in WA election history that the Nationals surpassed the Liberals’ voting preference.

In contrast, Labor under Mark McGowan secured a dominating presence in the legislative assembly with an unprecedented victory of 53 out of 59 seats.

Nationals Leader Mia Davies and recently elected Liberal Leader David Honey signed the agreement on April 19, with Davies acting as leader of the opposition and Honey serving in the state development and energy portfolios.

Davies emphasised the importance of the partnership in making sure Labor’s decisions were in line with the state’s interests.

“The Agreement forms the basis of our commitment to work together so we can get on with the job of holding the Labor Government to account on behalf of all West Australians,” Davies said.

Mark McGowan
Labor supporters react as re-elected Premier of WA Mark McGowan makes a speech with his family by his side at the Gary Holland Community Centre in Rockingham, Australia on March 13, 2021. (Will Russell/Getty Images)

Honey also said that the incumbent needed a strong opposition to ensure that appropriate checks and balances were in place, preventing the party from abusing its dominant position.

“This Alliance is critical to holding the Labor McGowan Government accountable for its actions over the next four years and making sure it does not become arrogant because of its huge parliamentary majority,” Honey added.

This is not the first time the Liberal and National parties have signed an alliance. They were also allied between 2008 and 2017; however, they separated during the first term of McGowan’s Labor government.

The Liberal-National opposition has hopes beyond the current term, seeking to challenge Labor in the next general state elections.

“I am very confident that this positive cooperation between the Liberals and Nationals WA will grow even stronger over the next four years and make our combined efforts highly effective in the lead up to the 2025 State election,” Honey said.

The alliance has also announced its intention to restore the Royalties for Regions—the State Government’s long-term plan to develop WA’s regional areas, initially formulated by the National Party.

The National Party has previously criticised the Labor party for voting against motions in support of the rural investment program.

“We both agree that Royalties for Regions needs to be restored and rejuvenated after four years of misuse and manipulation by the Labor Government,” Davies said.

AAP contributed to this report.