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'A recipe for difficult times for any political party'

IT has been a turbulent week to end a rollercoaster first eight months for the LNP Government but political experts tip the majority government can make a strong recovery.

Premier Campbell Newman accepted the resignation of three backbenchers last week, two of which moved to the cross-bench and another merged with Katter's Australian Party.

While the events have been unusual, Griffith University politics and journalism senior lecturer Dr Paul Williams believes Mr Newman and his now-76 seat party can recover.

"It's extremely unusual they would face so many hurdles especially of their own doing in the first six months," he said.

"It can be repaired but there is not doubt there has been some damage suffered."

In the midst of the inner-party turmoil, LNP maverick and mining billionaire Clive Palmer resigned from his long-loved party following harsh criticism directed at the Newman Government.

While some Queenslanders brush off Mr Palmer's bold and often left-field claims, Dr Williams said the LNP pedigree had an influence.

"He knows what he is talking about," he said.

"Palmer has emerged as the larrikin good guy and LNP as the hard hitter bad guys.

"If Palmer was to form his own party and in alliance or coalition with the Katter party, they would score double digit votes easy at the next election."

Condamine MP Ray Hopper defected from the LNP and rose through the ranks to become Katter's Australian Party state leader and fuelled rumours he would join forces with a potential Palmer party.

University of Queensland political academic Dr Ian Ward believes the LNP has a few more terms to go yet.

Dr Ward said the party's inexperience had contributed to some of the problems.

"You have got a Premier who has no experience in the party room," he said.

"You have got a very substantial LNP majority, lots of first time members - some of who never expected to be in the parliament - and many of whom have gotten no particular experience or background in their own party.

"That of course is a recipe for difficult times for any political party to manage.

"What you are seeing is a reflection of that very significant scale of victory which the Newman Government achieved in March early in the year."

Topics:  campbell newman lnp



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