Will the joker Palmer turn his money back into Labor?

The biggest wild card of this election period may not have been played yet. At this point in the 2019 campaign, two weeks before the voters went to the polls, Clive Palmer decided to light the blowtorch on Labor leader Bill Shorten.

“We thought it was going to be a disaster for Australia [if Shorten won]Palmer told ABC just days after the election.

“So we decided to polarize the electorate and we thought we’d put up the publicity we had left … to explain to people what Shorten’s economic plans were for the country and how they should be worried about them.”

Despite spending a record $ 84 million in that election campaign, Palmer’s United Australia Party didn’t win a single seat. But many Labor credit the billionaire mining magnate’s relentless anti-Shorten blitz in the final stages of helping to depress the party primary vote.

Three years later, the only thing we can say for sure about Palmer’s election plans is that he still has a lot of money to burn with potentially no real political gain. He has promised to spend about $ 70 million on the campaign.

Those messages, with the ubiquitous yellow UAP, are everywhere, from billboards filling the freeways to getting in the way of your YouTube binge. Recent data also shows where Palmer is overtaking the major parties.

UAP spent more than 2 million dollars on general display advertising, dwarfing the work and coalition. And there is no competition on Google either. As of 2020, $ 15.5 million of the $ 18.3 million spent on political advertising has been for UAP.

This could spell trouble for Labor. Even though Palmer says he won’t prefer big parties (telling the National Press Club last month that he would take the Greens instead of Labor or Libs), his air-saturation might be displaced messages from the opposition.

But so far, Labor would be relieved that it has not entered full attack mode against opposition leader Anthony Albanese … yet.

Instead, the message from Palmer and UAP leader Craig Kelly was all over the place. Palmer is developing a whimsical idea of ​​”using the power of the Constitution” to limit interest rates to 3%, which has emerged as the UAP’s signature policy in this election.

In a rambling speech to launch his party’s election campaign, Palmer spoke of assets being sold to overseas buyers, the need to help more young Australians enter the housing market, and to repay the trillions of dollars of Labor and Liberal debt through a license. export of minerals.

There is also a policy on the abolition of all student debt, which sounds like something that looks like it came out of the greens.

The big result of the analysis of the UAP announcements is that after spending most of 2021 spreading disinformation about vaccines and attacking “warrants,” the party is trying to focus its attention on issues broader than the cost of life, tapping into some of the latent dissatisfaction with the blockades and the pandemic.

A recent, widely used ad is a case in point. In it, a UAP candidate stares at a camera and recites the following message:

“How much is it worth it? Domestic violence, trillion dollars in debt, broken families, bankrupt companies, depression, loneliness. Never let that happen again. ”

In other words, a kind of vague tone intended to attract various types of disaffected people.

So far, both major parties are targeted. If nothing else, there has been more criticism of Morrison, the incumbent.

Will Palmer get anything out of his big advertising blitz? Kelly, who should have run for the Senate, is almost certain to lose his seat in Hughes’ lower house. Various opinion polls have put the UAP at a constant primary vote of 3-5%.

Palmer represents the party’s best chance at a seat in Parliament, battling Pauline Hanson, former Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman (Liberal Democrat) and coalition senator Amanda Stoker for the rogue seat in the Senate.

But some Labor strategists feared the party might breach Melbourne’s outer suburban seats like McEwen, Hawke and Dunkley, where voters sprouting from long city blocs could support the UAP, making their preferences crucial.

So far, Palmer remains unpredictable, fulfilling his role as an Australian politician ‘ agent of chaos. While Australians have largely ignored his vaccine attacks, there are still many undecided voters who are turning away from the main parties.

There is still no clear feeling that the vote is going to the UAP. Unless Palmer decides to make Morrison a huge hit and hammer Albanese in the final rounds, his impact on this election could be minimal.

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