Clive Palmer is elated despite winning zero seats. Picture: Kelly Barnes/ AAP
Clive Palmer is elated despite winning zero seats. Picture: Kelly Barnes/ AAP

'I'm elated': How Clive Palmer's $55m trumped Australia

Clive Palmer has no regrets about spending $55 million in advertising for a political campaign that returned a total of zero seats.

He says he's just happy "shifty" Bill Shorten didn't win.

United Australia Party billboards were erected across the country. They were coupled with full page ads in newspapers and television commercials for Palmer's party - one that promised to "make Australia great".

But the former mining magnate garnered just 3.4 per cent of the national vote and did not win a single seat.

Mr Palmer says his spending wasn't wasted, as votes flowed through to the Coalition under a preferencing arrangement that helped Scott Morrison secure a majority government.

Speaking with ABC Radio in Brisbane last night, Mr Palmer said he did what he did because he thought a Labor government "would be a disaster for Australia".

"We decided to polarise the electorate and put what advertising we had left that hadn't been used into explaining to Australian people what Shorten's economic plans were for the country and how they needed to be worried about them," he said.

"I'm very, very elated that we've got a strong government in Australia.

"We've saved the country from shifty (Bill Shorten)."

Former federal Labor treasurer Wayne Swan said Mr Palmer's spending helped the Coalition "steal an election", but Mr Palmer called that suggestion a "load of rubbish" and Mr Swan a "sore loser".

Swedish furniture giant Ikea took a cheeky stab at Mr Palmer's spending during the election with a billboard advertising a $28 swivel chair.

"Geez Clive … $60 million and not a single seat? Should've come to Ikea," it reads.

Mr Palmer styled himself around US President Donald Trump during the campaign and mirrored his "Make America Great Again" campaign. He even targeted the "fake news".

In a bizarre rant on Nine's Today show ahead of Saturday's vote, he told host Deborah Knight he didn't "give a stuff" about what people thought of him.

He suggested Mr Shorten should be "thrown out" of parliament.

"Bill Shorten cannot be trusted. He's not fit to be prime minister of this country … he doesn't matter, he's inconsequential."

Then he went on to declare the United Australia Party would be "in government in Canberra".

"Why do you think we're standing in 151 seats across this nation? Because we intend to win," Mr Palmer said.

But he went on to say "it doesn't matter who the PM is, it matters what the policies are".



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