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Cory Bernardi Disbands Australian Conservatives Party

Senator Cory Bernardi has announced that he will disband the Australian Conservatives party, following its poor showing in the recent federal election.

Bernardi defected to the Australian Conservatives in February 2017, seven months after his re-election as a Liberal Party senator from South Australia. The party had been founded a year earlier as a right-wing activist group. He claimed the new party was opposed to the left-wing direction of the Liberal Party under then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Shortly after its formation, the party was merged with Family First, which gave up its well-developed political identity.

The Australian Conservatives won just 102,769 Senate votes (0.70%) nationwide at the May 18 election. Its best result was 1.47% in South Australia, its worst 0.42% in Western Australia. The party did not contest House seats.

It is not known what Bernardi’s longer-term intentions are. Media reports suggest he may return to the Liberal Party, which he has reliably supported during his self-imposed exile. Some reports say he may leave parliament altogether.

Bernardi became a senator in May 2006, filling a casual vacancy left by the retirement of Robert Hill. He was re-elected in 2007 from the number one position on the Liberal Party ticket. In 2013, he was re-elected, again from the number one position. He was re-elected at the 2016 double dissolution election from the number two position.

Bernardi issued the statement shown below:

19-06-21_conservatives-statement_bernardi