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  • Leonardo Puglisi

Coalition could be over in Vic after Nationals said they'd 'discuss' leaving agreement with Liberals

The Liberals have lost several seats this election, while the Nationals have picked up 3 in the lower house.

The Victorian Nationals will discuss leaving their coalition agreement with the Liberal Party following last Saturday's state election loss.


Speaking to media, Peter Walsh - who will remain party leader - said that breaking away from the Liberals is 'something that will be discussed'.


The day after the election, Gippsland South MP Danny O'Brien told the ABC the discussion should be on the table. Another MP, Tim Bull, said the conversation could begin in a few weeks.


Only several days ago, Sky News was reporting that the Nationals were declaring it was 'too soon' to determine whether they'll stay or go.


Unlike the Liberals, the Nationals did not lose any seats at the election - picking up the previously independent-held electorates of Mildura, Morwell, Shepparton. The party also gained a second member in the upper house, with Gaelle Broad elected in the Northern Victoria Region.

 

LIVE RESULTS: All the seats changing hands & how every party went in the Victorian state election

 

If the coalition did split in Victoria, it wouldn't be the most unprecedented move.


When they were the Country Party, the Nationals were at times the more dominant of the two parties - and from the late 1950s until 1990, there was no coalition agreement.


After the 1999 election loss, the coalition agreement was again torn up and the Nationals started to brand themselves as the 'VicNats'. The agreement returned for the 2010 election, which they won, and has lasted after the 2014 loss.


If the coalition agreement ends, the parties could form an alliance like in Western Australia, where the Nationals are the official opposition. There's also the possibility of the Nationals sitting as part of the crossbench, like WA MP Tony Crook did after the 2010 federal election.


Even in the agreement, the Liberals and Nationals compete against each other in several seats - and the Liberals do have several MPs in regional areas.


The Liberals are also first on their joint upper house ticket in the 3 rural regions - Eastern, Northern & Western Victoria.


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