The Liberal Movement (LM) was a minor South Australian political party in the 1970s. Stemming from discontent within the ranks of the Liberal and Country League (LCL), it was organised in 1972 by former premier Steele Hall as an internal group in response to a perceived resistance to sought reform within its parent. A year later, when tensions heightened between the LCL's conservative wing and the LM, it was established in its own right as a progressive liberal party. When still part of the league, it had eleven parliamentarians; on its own, it was reduced to three.
In the federal election of 1974, it succeeded in having Hall elected to the Australian Senate with a primary vote of 10 per cent in South Australia. It built upon this in the 1975 state election, gaining almost a fifth of the total vote and an additional member.
However, the non-Labor parties narrowly failed to dislodge the incumbent Dunstan Labor government. That result, together with internal weaknesses, led in 1976 to the LM's being re-absorbed into the LCL, which by then had become the South Australian division of the Liberal Party of Australia. The non-Labor forces again failed in 1977 but succeeded in winning government at the 1979 election.
A segment of the LM, led by former state attorney-general Robin Millhouse, did not rejoin the Liberals, instead forming a new party, the New LM, which, combined with the Australia Party, under the invited leadership of Don Chipp, formed the nucleus of the Australian Democrats which aspired to a balance of power in the federal Senate and up to four state upper houses for three decades.
The LM and its successor parties gave voice to what is termed "small-l liberalism" in Australia.
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