Kidstonites

(Redirected from Kidston Party)

The Kidstonites or Kidston party were a political party in the Australian state of Queensland in 1907 to 1908, formed by William Kidston. The party resulted from a split in the Queensland Labor Party and spent most of its existence in government, before merging with the conservative faction of Robert Philp in October 1908, to form the Liberal Party.

Kidstonites
LeaderWilliam Kidston
FoundedMay 1907
DissolvedOctober 1908
Merged intoLiberals
IdeologyInterventionism
Social democracy

HistoryEdit

In 1903, Queensland's long-running Continuous Ministry fell and was replaced by a coalition of liberals and Labor. The government was headed by Arthur Morgan and included two Labor members, though not the party leaders.[1][2] In 1906, Morgan was succeeded as Premier by William Kidston, one of the Labor members of the government. However, Kidston grew increasingly dissatisfied with the official direction of the Labor Party as set by the 1905 party convention on the issues of collective ownership and Crown land sales, which he felt to be impractical and electorally unrealistic.[3]

The 1906 federal election saw Labor do badly in Queensland at the hands of the Anti-Socialist Party, confirming Kidston's views as conflict grew between pursuing an efficient reformist government and the pursuit of Labor's stated interests and ideology.[4] Kidston demanded greater loyalty to himself but the 1907 party convention reaffirmed the socialist objective, resulting in a split.[2]: 173 [5]

All but fourteen members of the Labor parliamentary party rallied to Kidston's banner, and in the 1907 state election, the Kidstonites won twenty-four seats. Because neither they nor Labor nor Robert Philp's Conservative group had a majority, a three-party system operated in the state over the next two years, with no party able to govern alone.[2]: 173–4  Kidston secured some support from Labor on common issues, but the conservative Queensland Legislative Council obstructed much legislation.[5]: 205–206  Kidston tried to appoint more supportive members to the council but the Governor of Queensland Lord Chelmsford refused, leading to Kidston's resignation. Philp formed a government which was promptly denied supply by parliament, and was forced to a new election in February 1908 at which the balance in the parliament was barely altered.[3][6]

Kidston resumed office and, with the support of Labor, passed reforms including the Parliamentary Bills Referendum Act, which allowed for bills blocked repeatedly in the Council to be submitted to a referendum. Other legislation passed involved pensions, wages boards and electoral reform, but the alliance with Labor came to an end, and later bills, such as to allow private railway construction, were passed with the support of Philp's Conservatives.[5]: 206  Increasingly, the Kidstonites and the Conservatives were drawn together and, in October 1908, they merged,[3][6] reviving the name Liberal Party.[7] Not all Kidstonite parliamentarians accepted the merger, and a group called the "Independent Opposition" emerged, headed by former Attorney General James Blair, which included former Labor leaders Peter Airey and George Kerr.[8][9]

Election resultsEdit

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
1907 William Kidston 62,898 31.88
24 / 72
  7   2nd Minority government
1908 William Kidston 46,848 25.03
25 / 72
  1   1st Minority government

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, Rod. "Morgan, Sir Arthur (1856–1916)". Sir Arthur Morgan. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Murphy, Denis Joseph (1975). "Queensland". In Murphy, Denis Joseph (ed.). Labor in Politics: the state Labor parties in Australia 1880-1920. University of Queensland Press. pp. 168–169. ISBN 9780702209390.
  3. ^ a b c D. J. Murphy. "Kidston, William (1849–1919)". William Kidston. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  4. ^ Bolton, G.C. (1978). "Robert Philp: Capitalist as Politician". In Murphy, Denis Joseph; Joyce, Roger Bilbrough (eds.). Queensland Political Portraits 1859-1952. University of Queensland Press. p. 213. ISBN 9780702211270.
  5. ^ a b c Wanka, K.J. (1970). "William Kidston - The Dilemma of the Powerful Leader". In Murphy, Denis Joseph; Joyce, Roger Bilbrough; Hughes, Colin A. (eds.). Prelude to Power: The Rise of the Labour Party in Queensland 1885-1915. Jacaranda Press. p. 205. ISBN 9780701603120.
  6. ^ a b W. Ross Johnston. "Philp, Sir Robert (1851–1922)". Sir Robert Philp. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  7. ^ Hughes, Colin A. (1980). The Government of Queensland. University of Queensland Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0702215155.
  8. ^ J. C. H. Gill. "Blair, Sir James William (1870–1944)". Sir James William Blair. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Martin. "Airey, Peter (1865–1950)". Peter Airey. Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 1 July 2018.

BibliographyEdit

  • Hughes, Colin A. (1980). The Government of Queensland. University of Queensland Press. ISBN 978-0702215155.
  • Murphy, Denis Joseph; Joyce, Roger Bilbrough; Hughes, Colin A., eds. (1970). Prelude to Power: The Rise of the Labour Party in Queensland 1885-1915. Jacaranda Press. ISBN 9780701603120.
  • Murphy, Denis Joseph (1975). Murphy, Denis Joseph (ed.). Labor in Politics: the state Labor parties in Australia 1880-1920. University of Queensland Press. pp. 127–228. ISBN 9780702209390.