Federal National Party Leaders Since 1920

The table below shows the full list of leaders of The Nationals since 1920.

The party was originally called the Country Party. In the 1970s it became the National Country Party, before dropping “country” altogether and becoming the National Party in the 1980s. Its official name is now The Nationals.

Earle Page, the party’s second leader, is its longest-serving, at 18 years, 5 months and 8 days. Page also had the longest service in the House of Representatives, representing Cowper (NSW) for 42 years between 1919 and 1961.

The shortest-serving leader was Charles Blunt, who served 11 months between 1989 and 1990. Having deposed his predecessor Ian Sinclair, Blunt lost his seat in the general election.

In its first 69 years since 1920, The Nationals had seven leaders. In contrast, the 29-year period since 1989 has also seen seven leaders.

The 44 years between 1940 and 1984 was a time of unparalleled stability, with just three leaders (Fadden, McEwen and Anthony).

Three leaders (Page, Fadden and McEwen) served briefly as prime minister. Page and McEwen were stop-gap leaders following the deaths of Lyons (1939) and Holt (1967), whilst Fadden was defeated in the House of Representatives (1941).

Nine of the party’s leaders have represented electorates in NSW. Two leaders came from Queensland, whilst Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania provided one each. Barnaby Joyce represented Queensland as a senator before transferring to the NSW electorate of New England.

Of the fourteen leaders of the party, nine are still living. They include every leader since Doug Anthony’s term began in 1971.

Federal National Party Leaders Since 1920
No. Name/Seat/State Began Ended Length of Term Born Died Age
1.
William McWilliams
Franklin, Tas (1903-1922, 1928-1929)
24.02.1920
05.04.1921
1 year, 1 month, 12 days
12.10.1856
22.20.1929
73
2.
(Sir) Earle Page
Cowper, NSW (1919-1961)
05.04.1921
13.09.1939
18 years, 5 months, 8 days
08.08.1880
20.10.1961
81
3.
Archie Cameron
Barker, SA (1934-1956)
13.09.1939
16.10.1940
1 year, 1 month, 3 days
22.03.1895
09.08.1956
61
4.
(Sir) Arthur Fadden
Darling Downs, Qld (1936-1949)
McPherson, Qld (1949-1958)
16.10.1940
12.03.1958
17 years, 4 months, 25 days
13.04.1894
21.04.1973
79
5.
(Sir) John McEwen
Echuca, Vic (1934-1937)
Indi, Vic (1937-1949)
Murray, Vic (1949-1971)
26.03.1958
01.02.1971
12 years, 10 months, 5 days
29.03.1900
20.11.1980
80
6.
J. Douglas Anthony
Richmond, NSW (1957-1984)
02.02.1971
17.01.1984
12 years, 11 months, 15 days
31.12.1929
88
7
Ian Sinclair
New England, NSW (1963-1998)
17.01.1984
09.05.1989
5 years, 3 months, 22 days
10.06.1929
88
8.
Charles Blunt
Richmond, NSW (1984-1990)
09.05.1989
09.04.1990
11 months
19.01.1951
67
9.
Tim Fischer
Farrer, NSW (1984-2001)
10.04.1990
20.07.1999
9 years, 3 months, 10 days
03.05.1946
72
10.
John Anderson
Gwydir, NSW (1989-2007)
20.07.1999
06.07.2005
5 years, 11 months, 16 days
14.11.1956
61
11.
Mark Vaile
Lyne, NSW (1993-2008)
06.07.2005
03.12.2007
2 years, 4 months, 27 days
18.04.1956
62
12.
Warren Truss
Wide Bay, Qld (1990-2016)
03.12.2007
11.02.2016
8 years, 2 months, 8 days
08.10.1948
69
13.
Barnaby Joyce
Senate, Qld (2005-2013)
New England, NSW (2013-2017)
New England, NSW (2017-)
11.02.2016
26.02.2018
2 years, 15 days
17.04.1967
51
14.
Michael McCormack
Riverina, NSW (2010-)
26.02.2018
2 months, 29 days
02.08.1964
53

 

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