Clive Palmer denies Q&A plant
Palmer United Party leader says that his candidate for the seat of Sydney, Tim Kelly, was not planted in the audience of ABC's Q&A program on Monday night.
Clive Palmer has warned Tony Abbott that he must reform the electoral act or his Palmer United Party will block every piece of government legislation in the Senate.
The mining billionaire's threat came after he officially requested a recount in the seat of Fairfax on Tuesday, as latest counting showed his lead over Coalition candidate Ted O'Brien had diminished to less than 70 votes.
If he is denied a seat in the Federal Parliament, Mr Palmer warned he will still exercise power via PUP's Queensland senator-elect, Glenn Lazarus. He said PUP's first political move will be to push for a reform of the Australian Electoral Act.
''From our point of view we'll have the balance of power in the Senate, so if Tony Abbott doesn't reform the electoral act, we'll just … not pass anything. Nothing,'' he said. ''I don't give a stuff about a mandate.''
Mr Palmer has accused Australian Electoral Commission workers of ''stuffing'' ballot boxes in the Sunshine Coast seat, after the sharp reverse from his 60/40 lead on election night.
''It's not what I regard as democracy,'' he said. ''Ted got 40 per cent of the vote on election night and I got 60 per cent, and we got 100 per cent of the preferences, yet somehow Ted's won it … a lot of illegal things have happened.''
Mr Palmer has gone to the Court of Disputed Returns to challenge the count, even though he considers it a ''pointless exercise''. His concerns centre on an extra 768 House of Representative pre-poll votes in the Coolum booth that did not have corresponding Senate pre-poll votes.
Asked if he felt disillusioned about the political process, Mr Palmer said: ''I feel a bit enlightened.'' Mr Palmer believes the alleged vote tampering is specific to his run in Fairfax. ''I think I'm a different category. They're a bit worried about us. We got 10 per cent of the national vote of the LNP, and they only got there on our preferences. They don't think I'm the sort of character they want to deal with.''
Mr Palmer has highlighted the ex-military background of some AEC officials and suggested they are trying to keep him out of politics to preserve the two-party preferred status quo in Australian politics.