Centre Right Faction
Centre Right Group
FigureheadScott Morrison
Faction LeaderAlex Hawke[1][2][3]
FounderAlex Hawke[4][5]
Founded2009; 15 years ago (2009)[citation needed]
Ideology
Political positionCentre-right[7]
Associated partyLiberal
Colours  Blue
House of Representatives
4 / 40
(2023 seats)[citation needed]
Senate
1 / 25
(2023 seats)[citation needed]

The Centre Right Faction or Centre Right Group[6][8][9] is a faction within the federal Australian Liberal Party that makeup one of its three major factions.[a] It holds the middle position between the three factions: Moderate being to its left, the National Right being to its right.[6] Beginning in 2009,[citation needed] the faction held its most dominant position in 2021–2022, and, as of 2023 only has a total of six federal MPs.

The faction's main ideology can be seen as a soft mix of both the adjacent factions' ideologies. As noted by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2021: “The [Centre Right] group's unifying philosophy is pragmatism – that means an adherence to free-market economics (but with enough flexibility to splash billions to prop up the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic) and relatively conservative social values.”[6] The ideological position, and pragmatism ("to yield results"),[10] of the Centre Right Faction, is one of the reasons Scott Morrison was appointed leader of the party in 2018.[10] As its nickname under Scott Morrison (Morrison Club) signifies, its figurehead was then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with Alex Hawke known as the leader of the faction.[1]

During the Morrison government years, the Centre-Right was the largest faction, with 32 of 91 Liberal MPs belonging to the group.[11] However, the 2022 Australian federal election saw a significant realignment of factional affiliations within the Liberal Party, with the Centre-Right going from being the largest faction to the smallest faction, plummeting from 32 members to just 6, caused by a combination of members losing seats as well as members moving to other factions; the aftermath of the election saw the emergence of a "Centrist" faction consisting of former Moderate and Centre-Right MPs, mostly hailing from Victoria, with this group espousing similar ideological leanings to the Centre-Right faction in being more economically dry than the National Right and more socially conservative than the Moderates.[12]

In 2021 it was reported by The Sydney Morning Herald that the Centre Right Faction of the Liberal Party was the most dominant within the party,[6] having thirty-two sitting MPs at the time (including the then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison),[6] ten more than the Moderate Faction and three more than the National Right Faction.[6] However, following the Liberal/National defeat at the 2022 federal election (including five factional MPs) and the resignation of Leadership from Scott Morrison, the Centre Right lost vast factional power, with six Centre Right members moving to the National Right Faction.[13] Most of the factional power following the election defeat and leadership change was transferred to the Conservative Right led by the new Party Leader Peter Dutton.[13]

Notes

  1. ^ Also called groupings, or groups.

References

  1. ^ a b Crowe, David (28 May 2021). "Liberal faction wars could snare PM in puppet master's strings". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  2. ^ Tillett, Andrew (7 December 2018). "Bubble boys: Who's in Scott Morrison's inner circle?". Australian Financial Review (AFR).
  3. ^ McGowan, Michael (19 February 2022). "In key election battlegrounds, the Liberal party is nowhere to be seen". Guardian Australia.
  4. ^ Robertson, James (2 June 2022). "Revenge served cold for Liberal factional kingpin blamed for election wipeout". The New Daily.
  5. ^ Robertson, James (13 June 2022). "Scott Morrison divides even after fall as Minister faces axe". The New Daily.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Massola, James (21 March 2021). "Who's who in the Liberals' left, right and centre factions?". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ Martin, Sarah (21 April 2019). "Scott Morrison: 'master of the middle' may pull Coalition out of a muddle". Guardian Australia.
  8. ^ Hutchinson, Samantha (7 August 2022). "NSW Liberals unite in 'rebuke' to Hawke over election fiasco". Australian Financial Review (AFR).
  9. ^ Crowe, David (28 May 2021). "Liberal faction wars could snare PM in puppet master's strings". The Sydney Morning Herald. One the soft-right's own, Melissa McIntosh, is being challenged by conservative candidate Mark Davies in Lindsay, the marginal seat around Penrith in Sydney's west. There is talk of a conservative challenge against Sussan Ley, the Environment Minister and member for Farrer, but nominations for her seat have not opened.
  10. ^ a b Martin, Sarah (21 April 2019). "Scott Morrison: 'master of the middle' may pull Coalition out of a muddle". Guardian Australia.
  11. ^ Massola, James (March 21, 2021). "Who's who in the Liberals' left, right and centre factions?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 22 March 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  12. ^ Massola, James. "How Morrison's shattering defeat gave Dutton a seismic shift in factional power". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 December 2023.
  13. ^ a b Massola, James (9 April 2023). "How Morrison's shattering defeat gave Dutton a seismic shift in factional power". The Sydney Morning Herald. Nine Entertainment. Archived from the original on 10 April 2023.