A Queensland Nationals senator predicts Clive Palmer’s long association with the LNP “will shine through eventually” despite recent clashes.

A Queensland Nationals senator predicts Clive Palmer will be more co-operative with the federal coalition, despite a bitter feud with his old party.

The founder of the Palmer United Party (PUP) is resisting federal government plans to require the unemployed to apply for 40 jobs a month.

PUP has also pushed a motion for an inquiry into Premier Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party government in Queensland.

This month PUP initially voted against a bill to repeal the carbon tax because of a disagreement on power price cuts, only to support the repeal a week later.

Maverick Tasmanian PUP senator Jacqui Lambie, meanwhile, has described Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a “political psychopath”.

Queensland Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan predicts Mr Palmer, a former life member of the LNP, and his crossbench senators will be more co-operative in future.

“Clive is naturally a conservative,” Senator O’Sullivan told the North Queensland Register in Townsville.

“Clive is naturally, and has been for three decades, a member of our side of politics and I think that will shine through eventually.”

Senator O’Sullivan was the Queensland LNP’s treasurer between 2009 and 2013, when Mr Palmer was the party’s biggest donor.

He also described enigmatic Victorian Motoring Enthusiast crossbench senator Ricky Muir as “the nicest and most decent bloke in the building”.