Probably the biggest surprise as the votes are counted in Australia’s federal election has been the strong showing by the Palmer United Party, founded just four months ago by businessman Clive Palmer.
Palmer – known for his bizarre business stunts such as building a Titanic replica and studding his championship golf course with life-size model dinosaurs – appears on track to win the Lower House seat of Fairfax in Queensland.
Some networks are predicting Palmer will win the seat from the Coalition’s Ted O’Brien, though others say it is too close to call.
Palmer was a long-time supporter of the Liberal National Party in Queensland but decided to form his own party to contest the election this year.
The prospect of having Palmer in politics has some people wondering what he could be capable of saying with parliamentary privilege.
Palmer is already suing The Australian over some of its coverage of him, and said last week that he would sue News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch personally.
Tonight he’s been talking about suing the Australian Electoral Commission for releasing details of early counting which he believes could prevent voters in Western Australia — where polls are still open — from supporting more minor parties.
This evening Palmer abruptly ended an interview with the election panel on the Seven Network about his business interests and intent to sue the AEC.
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