An independent Queensland MP will not rule out switching to Clive Palmer’s party.
Independent Queensland MP Peter Wellington is refusing to rule out joining Clive Palmer’s party.
Mr Wellington was the only non-Palmer United Party member to speak at Mr Palmer’s weekend festival for constituents in his Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.
Mr Wellington, who holds the Sunshine Coast hinterland seat of Nicklin, has told the ABC a move to the Palmer party would be a big step but won’t rule it out.
“I certainly don’t intend to do that at this stage,” the state MP told the broadcaster.
“I’ve made it clear I’ll continue to be an independent up until the next election and we’ll see what transpires as it gets closer to the election date.
“But at the moment I’ve made it clear I’ll continue to represent my constituents as an independent member of the parliament.”
Meanwhile, Labor’s state president Dick Williams has told Fairfax radio Mr Palmer will be a thorn in its side at the next state election.
Mr Williams said Mr Palmer should not be underestimated.
“Notwithstanding that he has his difficulties with Mr Newman and others, and potential court cases and the like, he is no friend of Labor,” Mr Williams said.
“And generally he is no friend of the working class, the workers, of Queensland.
“He is a person that is out for himself.”
The latest Newspoll, published on Monday, has Premier Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party government trailing Labor for the first time since the LNP won power in 2012.
The poll also showed a spike in support for “others” – Mr Palmer’s party and the independents – to 24 per cent.
Political commentators said the latest poll results raised the prospect of a hung parliament at next year’s election – a staggering turnaround from 2012 when observers were talking of the LNP holding power for at least three terms.
But Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says she’s not contemplating that.
“There is no talk whatsoever of any talks with Clive Palmer in relation to a coalition government,” she told reporters on Tuesday.