Clive is not going anywhere, will attempt to win Fairfax
A CLIVE Palmer staffer has confirmed his employer's plans to recontest the seat of Fairfax remain unchanged, despite questions arising about his political future.
In August Mr Palmer claimed stories of a potential shift to the Senate were "made up" and yesterday a Palmer United Party staffer confirmed nothing had changed, despite Mr Palmer coming under more attention following the downfall of Queensland Nickel and sackings of more than 200 workers.
As questions were raised over donations made by Queensland Nickel to Mr Palmer's political party shortly before the decline of the North Queensland refinery, Mr Palmer went on the attack against his former PUP Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus, sensationally calling for the now-independent senator to pay back the millions of dollars Mr Palmer claimed Mr Lazarus was the beneficiary of during the PUP election campaign.
That was one of the milder claims made in an explosive statement released by the mining magnate yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, University of the Sunshine Coast political lecturer Bronwyn Stevens said she would be surprised if Mr Palmer did opt to try to shift into the Senate.
She said given his narrow victory in the seat of Fairfax and the current situation with Queensland Nickel, she was unsure whether Mr Palmer's political future would continue past the next election.
"He only just got there in Fairfax and he has to try and get there in all of Queensland (to get elected to the Senate)," Ms Stevens said.
"To get the last Senate seat he wouldn't have to get a very high percentage of the vote.
"I would've thought his chances of even being elected to the Senate would be slim given what's happened.
"I'd be surprised if he got elected in the Senate.
"I'd be amazed."
She said it was possible Mr Palmer could simply opt against recontesting Fairfax and walk away from politics altogether, given the tumultuous nature of his political career thus far.
She said a number of other factors could also affect Mr Palmer's decision, including any potential for reforms to the Senate election process as well as whether the ethical questions being raised over donations will spark changes to political donor guidelines.
Ms Stevens said she believed there was a genuine need for political donor reform but added there was often reluctance from elected representatives to drive major change.
"Donations laws are weak, full of loopholes and suggestions to tighten them are usually met with some reform, but not enough," she said.
And as for Mr Palmer's situation, Ms Stevens said it was difficult to predict what his next move would be.
"It's (Palmer United Party) really been a very costly exercise for him," she said.
Late yesterday Mr Palmer received support from his Western Australian senator Dio Wang, who said he would stand by the embattled MP.