Clive Palmer addresses the National Press Club.
Clive Palmer addresses the National Press Club.

Clive could win Fairfax, says expert

CLIVE Palmer may win his seat of Fairfax and his party may take a spot in the Senate in Saturday's election.

That is the view of Gary Morgan, the executive chairman of Australian research company, Roy Morgan.

Mr Morgan said this week polls showed the Palmer United Party's popularity had increased from 4% to 7.5%.

He predicted this rise again and Mr Palmer could follow the likes of Pauline Hanson and Andrew Wilkie who were once also written off as not having a chance.

Mr Morgan said Mr Palmer would need about 18% of the vote in Fairfax to win his seat.

"He will get a lot more votes as everyone has preferenced him," Mr Morgan said.

"That's why he did a deal in Senate preferences with the Greens, it will give him some chance to win the seat."

The Sunshine Coast Daily's early polling of 200 people in Fairfax showed Mr Palmer had 5% support. This has clearly increased.

Mr Palmer's spokesman Andrew Crook said the party had seen "steady momentum coming our way for a few weeks now".

"We expect to win seats and senate positions across the country."

Mr Morgan attributed Mr Palmer's 11th hour success to his massive marketing campaign which has increased his profile.

Mr Crook said the party had not announced its marketing budget "but it has been reported to be in the order of $10 million".

Mr Morgan laughed at this figure and estimated it to be a whole lot more.

That would just be the start," he said.

"Preferences will favour Palmer. It shows the power of getting a high profile.

"People forget Mr Palmer ran Joh Bjelke Petersen's election campaign. He knows what he is doing."

He believed How to Vote cards would be "crucial" for Mr Palmer.

"It is so complicated, people will go to the How to Vote Cards," he said.

And while he said Mr Palmer stood a fair chance of winning the seat of Fairfax and possible a seat in the Senate, he didn't have much hope of becoming the next Prime Minister.

"He could annoy either party if he wind the Senate."



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