South Australian liberal senator Cory Bernardi is expected to leave the Coalition this week to form his own political party.
The outspoken senator has previously discussed his plans to establish his own political movement.
In a blog post last year, Bernardi wrote: “As of writing, over 1.7 million votes were cast for right-of-centre or conservative parties rather than the Liberal Party. From my perspective, that was the Liberal base expressing their unhappiness with past events.”
An influential Western Australian conservative later told Business Insider that Bernardi was more likely to be looking at forming a bloc of conservative-minded senators, which may include Pauline Hanson.
South Australian Liberal Simon Birmingham was confident this morning that Bernardi would stand by the party.
“Every comment I’ve ever seen Cory make, including over recent months, has been about the importance of Liberals, Nationals, conservatives — all those in the right of centre — working together and working as a strong Coalition,” he said on Monday morning.
In his most recent blog post, Bernardi said 2017 will be a “testing year” for the government and opposition.
“Unfortunately there are too few in our body politic willing to take the path less travelled — a trustworthy track that has fallen out of use,” he said.
“For the sake of our nation, we must get back on track.”
The move will be an upset for the Turnbull government as parliament resumes for 2017 tomorrow.
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