Note on historical definition of Australia’s left-right parties

A lot to come, but to put the previously noted paper into context, Australia’s political history is very convoluted and cannot be summarised in a single sentence. There was a left-right delineation, specifically defined from the 1880s with the Free Trade Party being the left and the Protectionist Party, the conservative right. The Labour Party came into being in the early 1890s and were also “left” and supported the Free Trade Party, which governed NSW. The conservative, now so-called “Liberal Party”, didn’t exist in the 19th century. For complicated historical reasons, the ironically misnamed today’s conservative “Liberal” party is the descendant of the Protectionist Party of the 1880s and 1890s, which opposed the progressive “leftist”, genuinely liberal, Free Trade and Labour Parties which led NSW politics at the time.