VICTORIA’S “sensible voting streak” will ensure Victorian voters steer clear of the Palmer United Party (PUP), Premier Denis Napthine says.
The South West Coast MP said the ascendant minor party was largely a Queensland phenomenon and believed it would have little electoral impact given Victoria’s track record of voting for the major parties.
PUP gained less than four per cent of primary votes across Victoria at last year’s federal election, performing slightly better in the senate count compared to the House of Representatives vote.
“Victorian voters are pretty sensible and I believe they’ll make a straight choice between the major parties,” Dr Napthine said.
“That choice is pretty clear. You have a Coalition government in Victoria that has worked hard to deliver a strong Victorian economy, fixing 11 years of Labor waste.
“When it comes to the smaller parties, Victoria has never been as interested as other states. Pauline Hanson (One Nation Party) was largely a Queensland phenomenon and disappeared as quickly as it came on the scene.
“We might well see the same trend.”
A spokesman for PUP said it was awaiting the outcome for registration in the November state election.
The party declined to comment on whether its former senate candidates, footballer and media personality Doug Hawkins and boxing champion Barry Michael, would contest state seats later this year.
The party’s leader Clive Palmer has previously suggested PUP would contest both upper and lower house seats.
“The (state) Liberal Party has some policies, but there has been little action from the state to actually get some mines going, so there is a difference between rhetoric and getting things happening,’’ Mr Palmer said in September.
“So many power stations have closed down, we need to go back and re-establish Victoria’s industrial base.”
The Greens had the strongest vote after the Coalition and Labor at the last state election in November 2010.
The environmentalist party picked up 11 per cent of the vote, followed by Family First on two per cent and Country Alliance on just over one per cent.
Historically, smaller movements have tended to struggle at Victorian state elections with the Democratic Labor Party arguably the strongest third party performer since the end of World War II, gaining 14 per cent of the vote several times during the Bolte era.