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THE LIBERAL PARTY of Australia is a left-of-center party that has governed Australia for most of the period since the end of World War II. It was founded in 1944 in Canberra under the inspiring leadership of Robert Menzies. On October 16, 1944, the name “The Liberal Party of Australia” was deliberately adopted at the Albury Conference because of the associations the name had with 19th-century progressive political thinking. In 1946, the Liberal Party had some limited success. In 1947, it won elections in Victoria and other states. In 1949, it won national office in a coalition with the Country Party. Under Menzies's leadership, it governed Australia for the next 17 years.

Leaders of the party since its inception have been Robert Menzies (1944–66); Harold Holt, ...

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