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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 period since 1989 has also seen seven leaders, including Joyce’s two non-consecutive terms

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.

Aside from Joyce, six former leaders of the party are still living: Sinclair, Blunt, Anderson, Vaile, Truss and McCormack. The oldest living former leader is Ian Sinclair, 92.

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
22.10.1929
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
26.03.1958
17 years, 5 months, 10 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
20.12.2020
90
7
Ian Sinclair
New England, NSW (1963-1998)
17.01.1984
09.05.1989
5 years, 3 months, 22 days
10.06.1929
92
8.
Charles Blunt
Richmond, NSW (1984-1990)
09.05.1989
09.04.1990
11 months
19.01.1951
70
9.
Tim Fischer
Farrer, NSW (1984-2001)
10.04.1990
20.07.1999
9 years, 3 months, 10 days
03.05.1946
22.08.2019
73
10.
John Anderson
Gwydir, NSW (1989-2007)
20.07.1999
06.07.2005
5 years, 11 months, 16 days
14.11.1956
64
11.
Mark Vaile
Lyne, NSW (1993-2008)
06.07.2005
03.12.2007
2 years, 4 months, 27 days
18.04.1956
65
12.
Warren Truss
Wide Bay, Qld (1990-2016)
03.12.2007
11.02.2016
8 years, 2 months, 8 days
08.10.1948
72
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
54
14.
Michael McCormack
Riverina, NSW (2010-)
26.02.2018
21.06.2021
3 years, 3 months, 26 days
02.08.1964
57
15.
Barnaby Joyce
Senate, Qld (2005-2013)
New England, NSW (2013-2017)
New England, NSW (2017-)
21.06.2021
0
17.04.1967
54

 

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