The question of tariff policy which, had created and divided the Free Trade Party and Protectionist Party in New South Wales in the 1890s, became a federal issue at the time of federation. Deprived of their main ideological difference, the two parties were recreated as the Liberal Reform Party aligned with the federal Free Trade Party and the Progressive Party aligned with the federal Protectionist Party. The Progressive Party's vote collapsed at the 1904 election and many of its members then joined the Liberal Reform Party. By 1907, the Liberal Reform Party was left as the main centre-right party in New South Wales.
In 1916, it formed a coalition with the pro-conscription elements of the state Labor Party under Premier William Holman. In 1917, Liberal Reform merged with the pro-conscription elements of Labor to form the New South Wales branch of the Nationalist Party of Australia. As was the case with the federal Nationalists, the new party was dominated by former Liberal Reformers, but Holman was the merged party's leader.
State election results
|Election||Seats won||±||Total votes||%||Position||Leader|
37 / 125
45 / 90
|8||176,796||44.58%||Minority government||Joseph Carruthers|
45 / 90
|0||210,456||45.91%||Minority government||Joseph Carruthers|
37 / 90
38 / 90
- Facts and Figures – Political Parties of NSW (Overview) Archived 10 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- "1901 to 1918 – The Early Federal Period and the First World War". Parliament.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 15 October 2019.