Australian politics: Christensen ‘loyal’ to Coalition as Bernardi on brink of Libs split

Australian politics: Christensen ‘loyal’ to Coalition as Bernardi on brink of Libs split, by Sarah Martin.

Conservative politicians have fired warning shots for Malcolm Turnbull to renew faith with the party’s base if he wants to keep the coalition united. Nationals MP George Christensen has warned that while he’s loyal now, there may come a time when he couldn’t stay in the party any more.

And conservative firebrand Cory Bernardi is reportedly preparing to split from the Liberals, with his Australian Conservatives group promising a “massive 2017” …

Cory Bernadi

Fears are mounting within the ­Liberal Party that maverick South Australian senator Cory Bernardi is set to split from the Coalition to spearhead the new Australian Conservatives party, with an ­announcement expected in the new year.

The conservative firebrand and his “very close friend” Gina ­Rinehart met key members of US president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign team, including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, in Washington last month, fuelling fears the senator might have the support of Australia’s richest woman to bankroll the party and dilute the Liberals’ support base.

Senator Bernardi is refusing to comment on his plans, but allies and colleagues of the outspoken conservative say a breakaway Trump-inspired movement is ­imminent and attempts are being made to convince him to stay within the Liberal Party. …

One of his conservative parliamentary colleagues said Senator Bernardi had since “given up on Malcolm” to steer the party to the Right, but said most conservatives still believed the Liberal Party as the party of Menzies was their “natural home”. “However, I think a lot of people would be sorely tempted,” the colleague said.

Steve Kates comments:

Australia already has a socialist party so doesn’t need a second. We already have a party that actually believes global warming is a legitimate concern, so we don’t need two. We already have a party that thinks public sector spending will drive economic growth, so we don’t need two. An Australian Conservative Party will at least have some sway via its Senate numbers, whereas at present it has hardly any at all.

There is a realignment across the international political frontier led by DJT and it will come to Australia one way or another. The Libs either toss Malcolm or a conservative third force will emerge.