Palmer is a 'Frankenstein Monster' says LNP report
AN LNP report into why Ted O'Brien lost the blue riband seat of Fairfax at the 2013 election has absolved him of any blame and labelled Clive Palmer a "Frankenstein Monster".
It's a monster the LNP will have to face again - the Palmer United Party national leader has confirmed that he will recontest the seat.
The internal party report, written by Fairfax Divisional Council chairman Mitchell Dickens, describes Mr Palmer as one of the LNP's own gone rogue and accuses the multi-millionaire of launching a "personal agenda of blatant distortion and flagrant self-interest".
"Palmer (in a political sense) is the archetypal 'Frankenstein Monster' - formed from a popularist patch-work of policy bits and pieces, held together by bizarre assertions, a menace that has escaped from a political science laboratory and now creates mayhem as he charts a confused course of self-interest and revenge across the political landscape,'' the report by Mr Dickens said.
"Bringing this travesty to an end …. is the task we have been charged with in Fairfax. Fairfax is now HIS seat and (if I may stay with the Frankenstein analogy), it is up to the right-thinking people of Fairfax to (figuratively speaking) take up flaming torches and drive 'Palmerstein' out of Fairfax and into political oblivion once and for all."
The report, presented to the Fairfax division of the LNP before the disastrous state election, praised Mr O'Brien's campaign, describing it, despite the loss of the seat by 53 votes after a recount, as "quite possibly the best organised and most far-reaching campaign they had ever seen on the Coast".
Mr Dickens, who is on holiday, did not respond to questions sent to him.
The report has surfaced on the eve of this weekend's LNP pre-selection contest for Fairfax which has attracted five candidates, including Mr O'Brien.
Mr Palmer said the LNP had lost because it had not represented the area effectively and because Mr O'Brien had door-knocked the entire electorate. He said his 2013 opponent was now trying for the third time to secure a seat in parliament.
Instead he pointed to a portfolio of achievements he has secured through cross-bench negotiations.
Mr Dickens' report found the Labor Party responsible for the loss of a seat held comfortably for the LNP for eight terms by Alex Somlyay.
"Members, the cruel irony that defeated us in 2013 was not so much Palmer and his dollars, but rather a weak ALP who ran a 'dead' campaign in Fairfax,'' he wrote.
"In the history of Fairfax, ever since its inception as a federal seat in 1984, the ALP has always run second. The complete failure of the 2013 ALP campaign in Fairfax allowed Palmer to come second and since our system distributes preferences to the two candidates who score the highest primary vote, this effectively resulted in a huge flow of preferences directly to Palmer."
Mr Dickens' analysis appears at fault when he claimed there had been a higher primary vote for Mr O'Brien than had been achieved for the LNP in the seat at the three previous elections.
Mr O'Brien's primary count of 41.32% sat behind the 52.30% achieved by Mr Somlyay in 2004, the 46.82% he received in 2007 and the 49.45% of the primary vote the now retired member gained in 2010.