Clive Palmer votes disappear with nickel, resort jobs
CLIVE Palmer's chances of holding his Sunshine Coast seat have been rated as 'very slim' by political experts who say the fallout over job losses at his nickel refinery and Coolum resort will cost him dearly.
ABC election guru Antony Green believes the Palmer United Party's vote at the next federal election will all but "disappear", Fairfax reported.
University of the Sunshine Coast political lecturer Bronwyn Stevens told local ABC radio this morning that she believed prospects for Mr Palmer and his Palmer United Party were 'very slim''.
Minor party powerbroker Glenn Druery told Fairfax PUP would currently attract no more than 2 per cent of the primary vote, with its only chance of success being a single Senate seat in either Queensland or Western Australia.
There has been speculation that Mr Palmer may switch to the Senate in a bid to gain re-election because of his unpopularity on the Coast, particularly after the loss of hundreds of jobs at the Palmer Coolum Resort.
Would you vote for Clive Palmer or Palmer United Party?
This poll ended on 26 January 2016.
Yes. He shakes up the major parties. We need him
No. He's proven he can't do anything right
Depends on what he is offering
No. He is just a big mouth and no action
Depends on the alternative candidate
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
When Mr Palmer took over the resort, which had been managed by the Hyatt, he promised workers their jobs would be safe.
But low vacancy rates and the loss of signature events like the Australian PGA golf tournament saw the resort's fortuntes crash and the loss of hundreds of local jobs.
Now the resort is closed "for renovations", though locals say there has been little sign of any work going on.
Mr Palmer has also been locked in a bitter dispute with unit owners in the Coolum precinct, which escalated when their power and water were cut off.
Mr Green said the strife at Mr Palmer's refinery had been the biggest blow so far to the shrinking PUP.
"The combination of his business problems and his inability to hold on to senators [Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus, who both defected from PUP] suggests the party is a one-hit wonder."
Mr Palmer has come under heavy fire amid revelations his nickel refinery donated more than $21 million to PUP.
Ms Stevens said she believed the donations should be referred to a parliamentary ethics committee for investigation as they did not look look.
Mr Palmer and his nephew, Queensland Nickel managing director Clive Mensink, have maintained the donations were successful in ensuring the scrapping of the carbon tax, which saved the refinery millions in operational costs.
QN went into voluntary administration yesterday after announcing last Friday that 237 positions had been made redundant.