Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and the Liberal Democrats have announced a right-wing alliance ahead of next year’s election.
The parties announced a preference deal in which they will direct their voters to list the other party as number two on the ballot paper.
Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and the Liberal Democrats have announced a right-wing alliance ahead of next year’s election. Pictured: Mr Palmer at a freedom protest in QLD
The alliance would have seemed unlikely in 2014 when mining billionaire Mr Palmer described Mr Newman as a ‘Nazi’ and said he was less popular than Hitler.
But the pair have united in opposition to Covid-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates and believe they can take votes away from the Coalition.
Mr Palmer, whose party will contest every seat at the next election despite not winning any three years ago, said: ‘We can never trust the Liberals, Labor or the Greens again’.
The UAP has one MP after Craig Kelly switched from the Liberal Party after he was widely condemned for promoting unproven Covid treatments.
Former QLD Liberal Premier Campbell Newman
The Liberals expect Mr Kelly’s seat of Hughes to return to them but Mr Palmer has other ideas.
‘Craig Kelly provides the best hope for all Australians to lead the country and I thank the Liberal Democrats for their support,’ he said alongside Mr Newman in Brisbane.
Mr Newman said ‘at this time of national crisis we need to end the Canberra nonsense’.
‘We need to give back the freedom to choose, freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Freedom matters,’ he said.
Addressing his former foe Mr Palmer, Mr Newman joked: ‘Who would have thought this day would have ever come, Clive?
‘What we’ve said about each other in the past doesn’t matter one brass razoo, it’s about going forward together.’
Mr Palmer, who spent $60million on advertising at the last election, said the UAP now has more than 80,000 members and boasted about meeting high-level politicians.
‘I’ve met Peter Dutton, he’s had breakfast with me this year, he’s quite friendly… same with people on the Labor side, I know them individually,’ Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer and Mr Newman are hoping to seize on support from pro-freedom protesters (pictured in Melbourne)