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The Hon Clare Morag Price (b. September 24, 1959) is a Georgeland former politician who was the 30th Prime Minister of Georgeland from 22 January to 1 July 2019. Her tenure of 160 days is one of the shortest of any Georgeland Prime Minister. She held office as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Islands. After a career in the trade union movement, Price joined the United Islands Labour Party in her early twenties and was elected to the Senate in 1997. She joined the United Islands Liberal Party in 1999 and the Liberal Democrats in 2004.

Price was a prominent backbencher for most of her Senate career but served on a number of committees, and was known for particularly left-wing views, especially within the more moderate Liberals and Liberal Democrats.  Price was elected to the House of Commons in 2004 at a by-election for the seat of Cheltenham in Santa Christina, and was appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Health and Human Services for the duration of Zoe Parker's government, from 2005 to 2007.

A contender for party leadership in 2007, in Opposition Price served as a Shadow Minister before returning to government in 2010 as Minister for Industry, Trade and Commerce under Lawrence Porter, of whom she was a loyal supporter. In 2015 she again was a leadership condender after Porter's retirement, but she withdrew before a ballot was held.  Price retained her portfolio during the first two years of Deborah Robards' government, but after the 2017 election was Price was made Minister for Trade & Tourism, in a move widely seen as demotion. After eighteen months, with poll numbers for the government in free-fall after the Martingate scandal, increased pressure on Robards' leadership saw her political opponents within the party call for a leadership ballot. At that ballot, on 22 January 2019, Price was a surprise nominee, and compounded the surprise by winning the ballot by 84 votes to 76. She was sworn in as Prime Minister that afternoon and announced her full ministry five days later. 

The Price government survived several motions of no-confidence but saw its numbers in the House of Commons dwindle after a series of resignations, defections and by-election losses. The Price government shifted policy to the left, announcing plans for a Universal Basic Income trial (which was never adopted), increased corporate taxation, funding increases for the NHS, defence spending cuts, and stronger environmental regulations. Many of these measures were blocked in the Senate, and the LDP's poll numbers, after a short initial increase, continued to decline through the first half of 2019. In April 2019, the government passed the Electoral (Proportional Representation) Act, which established a proportional electoral system for the House of Commons beginning in 2022.

On 7 May 2019, the Price government was defeated in a motion of no-confidence and resigned. A new election was called at which the Liberal Democrats were heavily defeated, winning only 24 seats in the new House, placing it on the crossbench for the first time as the New Coalition of the Georgeland Alliance and Reform formed a majority government. Price, who had been narrowly re-elected in her seat, resigned as leader of the LDP and after a period as a backbench MP, resigned from the House of Commons in January 2020.

Early life[]

Price was born in Lylecity, East Mainland, on 24 September 1959. Her parents, Peter Price and Jennifer Price (nee Macdonald), were of Welsh and Scottish birth respectively, and arrived as child migrants to Georgeland during the Great Depression . Peter Price was a bricklayer, and Jennifer Price a clerical worker until her marriage, and later in life a charity manager. Of working-class origins, Price was one of six children, the third in total and the first of four girls. She was named after her mother's mother, whose name was Morag Macdonald, and her father's aunt, Clare O'Shaugnessy. 

Lylecity in the 1960s was economically poor, and had one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. After he was laid off in 1967, Peter Price's latent alcoholism led him to become abusive. Many years later, as a minister, Clare Price would become a strong supporter of measures against domestic violence based on her experience as a youth. Price's eldest brother Donald left home at sixteen in 1970 and for a time the young Clare and her sister Margaret lived with him and his girlfriend. When she turned fifteen in 1974, Clare Price left home permanently and did not speak to her father for many years, eventually reconciling with him, to an extent, shortly before his death from cancer in 2002. She retained a strong and close relationship with her mother, who lived to see her daughter become Prime Minister. 

Price attended public school until the age of fourteen, most notably Altona High School in Lylecity's east. In 1974 she, along with her sisters Margaret and Helen, were sent by their mother to St. Clare's College, a boarding school near Anfield, East Mainland. Though Price hated boarding school, she excelled at mathematics and sport, including lacrosse and hockey. She never returned home from the school, instead moving in with her siblings upon leaving. 

In 1978, Price began attending the University of Mainland, at first in its Lylecity campus and later in Doubledance. Her brothers had not attended, and Price was the first person in her immediate family to go to university. Later, Price would say that she was only able to attend university because of the education reforms of the Van Goen Labour government. Largely for this reason, Price joined the Labour Party at university, and from 1980 to 1981 was President of the Student Union at the Doubledance campus. Since university, Price has strongly identified as a democratic socialist

Price graduated from UM in 1982, with a bachelors degree in industrial law, and honours in economics. 

Trade union official[]

In 1976, at the age of 17, Price joined the Union of Shop Stewards and Allied Trades (USSAT) while working part-time as a shop assistant. She continued to work part-time at university, and in 1981 was President of the local branch of USSAT and the chief organiser for all the union employees on the Doubledance campus. Upon graduating university, Price applied for a position as a researcher with the USSAT head office, and was employed there in Topstad from 1982 to 1985. In that year, she moved to Santa Christina to take up a position as assistant manager of the local office for the Georgeland Trade Union Alliance (GTUA), and became Secretary of the GTUA's Mainland branch in 1990. That same year, she was elected Treasurer of the Mainland Labour Party, and became Vice President of that branch in 1993. 

During Price's tenure as the GTUA state secretary, she negotiated an end to the state-wide transport strike which caused 60,000 transit workers to walk off in a dispute over wages and conditions. Price's nightly appearances on television news services advocating for the workers made her a household name. Her position was difficult; in 1993, at the height of the strike, the Labour government of Mitch Clarke was defeated by the Conservatives under Leyton Douglas, who took a much harder line against the striking workers. Eventually, on 17 March 1993, after the strike had lasted almost five months, an accord was reached between the union and the government.

Price retired as the state secretary in January 1995, and took up a position at industrial law firm Patterson & Sweeney in Romphumburg

Federal parliamentarian[]

Senate career[]

Price was selected as second on the Mainland Labour senate ticket at the federal election of 1997. The election not being due until late 1999, Senate terms were retroactively backdated to allow for half the senate to be elected, a procedure that is no longer constitutionally valid. 

The Labour ticket achieved 42.5% of the primary vote, which saw Price elected along with three others from the ticket. She took her seat on 1 January 1998. Price sat on several Senate and joint committees, including those of healthcare, industrial relations, foreign affairs and the Privileges Committee which governs parliamentary entitlements and positions. Price was well-known for strong left-wing views and a formidable demeanour during parliamentary hearings and enquiries. 

During the 1999 Labour split, Price sided with Charlton Robards and joined his new Liberal Party, despite most of her left-wing colleagues choosing to back Anthony McDonald and remain in the reduced Labour party room. Price justified her decision as less about factional and more about personal loyalty - she considered Robards to be more friendly to her political agenda and more likely to carry out significant reforms than McDonald. Price was re-elected to the Senate, at the head of the Labour ticket, at the double dissolution election of June, held only months after the previous election. Her term was backdated to 1 January 1999. 

In late 1999, Price opted to continue in office as a Senator for West Mainland, rather than stand for election for the new East Mainland seats which were added when Mainland was sub-divided into two states on 1 January 2000.  

Price supported Robards' challenge for the Liberal leadership in 2001, and supported the merger of the Liberals and Democrats. She was made Chair of the powerful Senate Economics committee in 2003, and a party whip the same year.

Entry to House of Commons[]

With the resignation of Michael Cherry, MP for Cheltenham, in June 2004, Price nominated for Liberal Democratic selection to replace him at the by-election. She contested the ballot with Geraldine McLean, the Mayor of Santa Christina, and a resident of the Cheltenham area. McLean had the backing of many local party supporters and branch officials, but Price had the backing of Robards and other factional powerbrokers. Price, who did not live near Cheltenham, was accused of "carpetbagging", but was selected as a candidate by 144 votes to McLean's 103. At the by-election, Price was elected with a 2.5% swing against her. 

Price was introduced into the House of Commons on 16 August. She was immediately appointed as Assistant Whip, and retained membership of her joint house committees. 

Leadership contender[]

With the retirement of Robards in July 2005, Price nominated to succeed him as leader. Under party rules, the top two candidates after a party room vote are then put to party members in a postal ballot. Price had the support of  many on the party's left, including her former senatorial colleague Lawrence Porter, but secured just 24 votes on the first ballot, eliminating her and leaving Parker and Andrea Perkins as the remaining candidates. During the leadership vote, Prce supported Parker. Parker ultimately won, and appointed Price as Minister for Health and Human Services. In the Health portfolio, Price oversaw a significant technical upgrade to NHS services, and intervened to prevent the takeover of health technology company Interon by its Chinese-owned rival Medicorp.  After the 2007 election, at which the Liberal Democrats lost office, Price was considered a strong contender for the party leadership, but did not nominate. 

Opposition period []

In the Shadow Cabinet of Robin Sales, Price was appointed Shadow Minister for Industry and Business. She retained this position after Lawrence Porter, of whom she was a supporter, took over the LDP leadership in October 2009. 

During the 2010 election campaign, Price spoke in support of a carbon tax, something Porter had ruled out in favour of a market-based mechanism. She was publicly rebuked by Porter for her comments. 

Porter and Robards governments[]

After the 2010 election, the Liberal Democrats returned to office. Price, despite her public opposition to Porter during the campaign, remained one of his supporters and was appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Industry, Trade and Commerce. In this role, she worked with the environment minister, Erica Lucas, on passage of the Carbon Price Mechanism Scheme, which became law on 18 November 2012. 

When Porter retired in August 2015, Price was considered as a candidate for the deputy leadership, but did not nominated. Deborah Robards was elected as leader and subsequently Prime Minister, and Price continued in her position at Industry, retaining it after the election of August 2016. 

Following the 2017 election at which the Liberal Democrats were re-elected during the Martingate scandal, Price retained her Trade portfolio and added Tourism to her brief, but lost the Industry and Commerce portfolios to her rival Geraldine McLean. 

2019 leadership election[]

Price Government (2019)[]

2019 election[]

Post-prime ministership[]

Personal life[]

Political views and ideology[]