Acting PM Warren Truss says the Palmer United Party could go the same way of other political saviours like Pauline Hanson.

Nationals leader Warren Truss reckons Clive Palmer could go the way of other political “saviours” such as Pauline Hanson.

He said those who voted for him in protest were ignoring their obligations to democracy and putting their country at risk.

Mr Truss, acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is overseas, said the coalition took its responsibilities seriously and would get on with the job of delivering what was important for Australia.

He said other parties could worry about themselves.

Asked if Mr Palmer’s Palmer United Party was just a “flash in the pan”, he said there had always been independent parties.

“We have had plenty of saviours in the past, like Pauline Hanson and Bob Katter. They all made a little bit of an impact for a while,” he told reporters at the NSW Nationals conference in Queanbeyan.

Mr Palmer was the big winner at the 2013 federal election, gaining his own seat and three Senate spots.

Pauline Hanson roared onto the Australian political landscape in 1996 but was only in federal parliament for a single term.

Despite big predictions, the vote for the Katter’s Australian Party of longtime Queensland MP Bob Katter was disappointing at the last election, and Mr Katter’s personal vote slumped.

Mr Truss said there was always a protest vote.

“Sometimes these people will gain support from that element,” he said.

“Those who throw away their vote in some kind of protest are in fact ignoring their obligations to their democracy but also putting their country at risk.”