Category:Australian Leaders of the Opposition

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The Leader of the Opposition in Australian Federal Politics is a Member of Parliament in the House of Representatives. The position is usually held by the leader of the party which has the most seats but is not part of the Government. When in Parliament the Leader of the Opposition sits on the left-hand side of the table in the centre, in front of the Opposition and opposite the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the party, or coalition of parties, with the most seats in Parliament, and thus is the leader of the Government. The leader is elected by the Opposition Party according to its rules. A new Opposition Leader may be elected when the incumbent dies, resigns or is challenged for the leadership.

The Commonwealth of Australia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system and is based on the Westminster model. The term Opposition has a specific meaning in the parliamentary sense, in its formal title of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. This is an important component of the Westminster system: the Opposition directs its criticism at the Government and attempts to defeat and replace the Government. The Opposition is therefore the 'Government in waiting' and it is a formal part of the parliamentary system, just as is the Government. It is opposed to the Government, but not to the Crown, hence the term 'Loyal Opposition'.

The Current Leader of the Opposition is Malcolm Turnbull who defeated Brendan Nelson for leadership of the Liberal Party on 16 September 2008. The Liberal Party have been in opposition since losing the 2007 election to the Labor Party who had been the opposition from 1996 to 2007. To date there have been thirty-one Opposition Leaders, sixteen of which have served terms as Prime Minister.