News National Goodbye Clive: Palmer to disband PUP

Goodbye Clive: Palmer to disband PUP

Clive Palmer
Clive Palmer's party started with promise, but voters and his own candidates soon deserted it. Photo: AAP
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Clive Palmer has said he will disband the Palmer United Party (PUP) and cancel its registration as a federal political party with the Australian Electoral Commission.

The party slid into political obscurity when it lost its last remaining member in Federal Parliament after Dio Wang failed to retain his Senate spot during the 2016 double dissolution election.

Mr Palmer confirmed he had also formally retired from politics.

“I would like to thank the members and thousands of Australians in every state of the Commonwealth who have supported the party and its candidates during the last four years,” Mr Palmer said in a statement.

“Australia has a strong democracy and minor and major political parties have an important role to play. Palmer United demonstrated that in the 44th Parliament.”

Mr Palmer launched the party in 2013 as an alternative to the major political powerhouses, running on a platform opposing the carbon and mining taxes.

He ran as a candidate himself, winning the lower house seat of Fairfax in Queensland on preferences, and his Senate candidates Jacquie Lambie, Glenn Lazarus and Mr Wang also secured spots.

But Mr Palmer’s tenure in Parliament – during which he regularly was absent and dogged by questions about his mining businesses – came to an end after one term when he chose not to re-contest his seat.

And by the time the election was held, Ms Lambie and Mr Lazarus had both quit the party and were running as independents.

Palmer enjoys Coolum course views
Clive Palmer poses with Jeff the dinosaur at the Palmer Resort in Coolum. Photo: AAP

Mr Palmer was labelled a “bully” by Mr Lazarus, who said he was “continually berated” while he was a PUP representative.

Voters had also moved on, with PUP getting less than 500 first preference votes at the ballot box.

The move to deregister the party comes seven months after it applied to cease existing as a state entity in Queensland.

Palmer’s political twerks and tantrums

Mr Palmer was no stranger to political stunts, regularly baiting the media into covering him and his party.

On the day he announced his decision to contest the 2013 federal election, he also revealed plans to build a life-size replica of the Titanic.

Later during the campaign, he declared: “If you can’t twerk, you can’t be prime minister”, before breaking out into the dance while being filmed during a FM radio interview.

Having bought the Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, Mr Palmer also opened a replica dinosaur park and a vintage car museum at the site.

But the mining magnate also grew frustrated with sections of the media, regularly complaining about coverage in News Corp publications and describing Rupert Murdoch’s then-wife Wendi Deng as a “Chinese spy”.

“She’s been spying on Rupert for years giving money back to Chinese intelligence,” he claimed.

He also stormed out of television interviews, including with the ABC’s Emma Alberici and Sara Ferguson.

Mr Palmer also apologised to former prime minister Tony Abbott, after telling him to “commit suicide” over proposed changes to the higher education system.

He has used social media platforms page to post poems, chronicle his weight loss and upload videos where he repeatedly says “goodbye” to political rivals.