The Country Liberal Party is facing an uncertain future following a bill that passed the federal parliament last week.

The Party Registration Integrity Bill increased the number of members a party needs to be registered from 500 to 1500, unless it has a member in the Federal Parliament. It’s understood the CLP has more than 500 members but fewer than 1500.

If Senator McMahon – who lost preselection to Jacinta Price in June – decided to quit the CLP, the party could lose its registration.

When contacted, Senator McMahon confirmed she had been approached to join other parties – including the Liberal Democrats and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

“I have no plans to do anything at this point in time, but you never rule anything out,” she told Sky News.

It’s understood senior party members began reaching out to Senator McMahon late last week to shore up her support.

If the CLP lost its registration, it would mean Ms Price and lower-house candidates Damien Ryan and Tina McFarlane would effectively have to contest the next federal election as independents.

While they could have the Country Liberal Party colours and logo on their advertising material they would be listed as independents on the ballot paper.

The Australian Electoral Commission would then face a logjam trying to assess the status of minor parties who might not have 1,500 members – a process that could take months.

Some within the CLP also believe their relationship with the Liberal and National parties would mean they were exempt from deregistration.

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