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Palmer’s party broadens its support base

Former members of Labor, One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party are switching their allegiance to Clive Palmer ahead of the federal election.

The businessman and former MP is building a new support base for his United Australia Party in north Queensland, and plans to stand candidates in all 151 seats at the election due by May 2019.

Mr Palmer said on Friday members of a range of political parties had joined the UAP.

“They believe north Queensland people have been forgotten,” he said.

“We must remember, it’s not the Liberal way or the Labor way, it’s the right way.”

Among the newcomers are former state election candidates Sue Bertuch, Allan Evans and Jen Sackley, who between them averaged 20 per cent of the primary vote in the north Queensland seats they contested.

Mr Palmer, the former member for Fairfax, is expected to be endorsed to run in the Townsville-based seat of Herbert at the federal poll.

He has bought a home in the north Queensland city and has signalled he wants to reopen his nickel refinery there.

However he faces ongoing court action over the collapse of the operation.

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