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Once were enemies: Palmer, Newman buddy up in preference deal

Politics

Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party has joined forces with former premier Campbell Newman’s Liberal Democrats in a preference deal ahead of the upcoming federal election.

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The ongoing row over vaccine mandates has thrown the pair together, with each declaring they would ask their supporters to list the other party’s candidates second on the ballot paper.

Collectively the parties hold just one seat at a federal level – the electorate of Hughes held by Craig Kelly, who was elected as a Liberal candidate until he resigned to sit as an independent before joining Clive Palmer’s UAP.

The Liberal Democrats are looking to Mr Newman for a return to electoral success, as the ex-LNP politician attempts a return to public office via a senate tilt in Queensland.

He shares a turbulent past with Mr Palmer who once called Newman a “Nazi” and targeted him during his time as premier, but the pair say they’ve moved on.

“Who would have thought this day would have ever come Clive?,” Newman said at a joint announcement.

“What we’ve said about each other in the past doesn’t matter one brass razoo, it’s about going forward together.”

The pair hope to work with other like-minded minor parties, and Palmer said his campaign would target every electoral seat rather than individual politicians.

He spruiked his political connections and said UAP now has more than 80,000 members.

“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,” Palmer said.

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