Katter’s Australian Party is hopeful of forming a coalition with Palmer’s United Party within months, despite Clive Palmer playing “hard to get”.
Katter’s Australian Party will continue to woo Clive Palmer to form a coalition by the end of a year.
Both parties have ruled out merger, but KAP national president Shane Paulger hopes the mining magnate turned federal MP stops “playing hard to get” and agrees to a less formal alliance.
“There’s a little bit of egos getting in the way from both leaders, but sanity I hope will prevail,” he told AAP.
“We’re working towards a coalition by the end of the year.
“We’re not sure how tight the alliance will be but it’s quite ridiculous to run against each other.”
KAP founder Bob Katter says he’s working aggressively towards forging relationships with other parties.
“PUP and KAP members have worked well together in federal and state politics and we look forward to continuing this for the betterment of all Australians,” he said.
Mr Palmer wouldn’t be drawn on whether a coalition is possible.
“We wouldn’t comment on anything to do about the Katter party,” he told AAP.
Without some form of deal, the parties risk splitting the conservative vote in Queensland, which could help Labor win seats off the Liberal National Party, as One Nation did when Peter Beattie was premier.
They’d also be lucky to independently score the 10 per cent of the vote needed to secure party funding in Queensland, Griffith University political analyst Paul Williams said.
“Palmer wouldn’t resonate west of the dividing range, and Katter would, and together they’d pick up all the disgruntled regional vote on the right,” Dr Williams told AAP.
“They’d be fools to field candidates against each other.”
Even with a coalition, they’d still win fewer than 10 seats, he added.
The Palmer party managed 11 per cent of the vote in Queensland at the federal election, and the Katter party just 3.75 per cent.