Clive Palmer will stand again for Fairfax in next election
FAIRFAX MP Clive Palmer will recontest the seat he won in 2013, yesterday denying any intention to shift his political career to the Senate.
Mr Palmer has rejected national media reports speculating a switch to the Senate was on the cards given a $5.5 million cash injection his businesses made to Palmer United Party in June.
He confirmed he had been approached about a potential preference deal between PUP and key cross bench senators, but denied any speculation that was tied to his own political future.
"I always have been,'' Mr Palmer said of his intention to recontest.
"I'm confident where I sit. We've got an outstanding record of what we've achieved for Fairfax.''
Mr Palmer said his polling put his primary vote at 35% with the LNP's Ted O'Brien on 30%.
He beat Mr O'Brien at the 2013 Federal election by 53 votes, costing the Coalition one of its safest Queensland seats.
Mr Palmer said the story in Fairfax media hinting he would run for the Senate was "made up".
"I will stand in Fairfax. Ted O'Brien can't beat me so he's spreading rumours,'' he said.
Mr O'Brien said he welcomed the challenge.
"It would be cowardly to do otherwise,'' he said.
"When Mr Palmer was declared Member I asked him to deliver on his promises, to be a full-time representative and to make himself available to his constituents. I intend to hold him to account."
Mr O'Brien said it didn't surprise him that Mr Palmer was doing polling.
"It accentuates the contrast. He's about polls, I'm about people.''
Electoral Commission Queensland documents show three Palmer-linked companies donated $5,680,007 to the party in June this year.
Among them was the Palmer Coolum Resort, despite it operating on skeleton staff and the sacking of large numbers of its staff since Mr Palmer took ownership.
UQ political finance expert Professor Graeme Orr said the donations mirrored US political campaigns, where "to have raised a lot of money early is the opposite of shameful - it puts fear into opponents".