Clive Palmer could face annihilation if he re-contests his Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax at this year’s election. A Galaxy poll published by NewsCorp on Monday showed the cutting of jobs at his Townsville nickel refinery have encouraged voters to abandon the Palmer United Party leader.
Mr Palmer’s support in his seat of Fairfax is now sitting at just 2%, according to Galaxy, down from 26.5% when he won the seat in the 2013 election on preferences. Galaxy found 83% of voters were unhappy with his work as their MP, and just 7% thought he was doing a satisfactory job.
It comes just days after Mr Palmer said there was still strong support for him as MP and for the Palmer United Party more broadly.
The poll was conducted six days after Clive Palmer’s company Queensland Nickel sacked 237 workers at its Yabulu refinery near Townsville.
Mr Palmer has since had to defend more than $20 million in donations the company made to bankroll his Palmer United Party, and Queensland Nickel is now in administration as workers fight for their entitlements.
Federal government frontbencher Karen Andrews says Mr Palmer should quit parliament and focus his attention on affected workers.
“I think he should resign and he should resign before parliament resumes next week,” she told Sky News on Monday.
Mr Palmer has refused to comment on the poll other than to call it “propaganda” on Twitter. He later released a statement calling on federal and state Labor to stop using his company’s turmoil to score political points.
“The Queensland Labor government has offered nothing other than advice on how to fill in applications for jobs that don’t exist,” he said.
He said federal Labor leader Bill Shorten and the Australian Workers Union had done nothing to help more than 22,000 people who’d lost their jobs in Queensland.
Mr Shorten is in Townsville on Monday. He’s written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, urging him to consider Labor’s plan to create thousands of jobs through the construction of a new stadium and upgrades to the Bruce Highway.