Clive Palmer in Hobart. Picture: Nikki Davis-Jones
Clive Palmer in Hobart. Picture: Nikki Davis-Jones

Palmer in danger of losing out in Senate

THE tightly contested three-cornered contest for the final two Senate spots in Queensland has a surprising new ­entrant.

The Greens, One Nation and billionaire Clive Palmer have been the favourites over the campaign to win the final two spots, with the LNP and Labor expected to take two each.

One Nation may have lost kingmaker status in Petrie

But momentum moving in the Coalition's favour has some LNP pundits hopeful their third candidate, Gerard Rennick, could get up over Mr Palmer.

It could see Mr Palmer left without a senator in Queensland, despite the $60 million he has spent on blanket advertising across radio, television, print and online.

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While it is still considered an outside chance, LNP campaigners say it has improved in the past three weeks, putting them in with a shot of their third candidate finishing ahead of Mr Palmer and collecting preferences.

But those in the Labor camp consider this an "optimistic" view, suggesting it will be the Greens, One Nation and the United Australia Party fighting it out.

Senator Pauline Hanson is not up for re-election at this poll, instead campaigning to get Malcolm Roberts returned to the Senate.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters delivering her last pitch to voters before the election. Picture: Peter Wallis
Greens Senator Larissa Waters delivering her last pitch to voters before the election. Picture: Peter Wallis

She has largely eschewed the media in the campaign since she was forced to dump her second Senate candidate Steve Dickson after he was engulfed by a hidden camera stripper scandal.

A YouGov-Galaxy poll, undertaken for The Courier-Mail last week, saw One Nation polling 9 per cent, putting it on par with the Greens and while above Mr Palmer's UAP on 5 per cent. LNP preferences would be needed to get Mr Palmer into the Senate, based on the polling.

Senator Larissa Waters, for the Greens, is considered a strong chance of being returned to the Senate, but not a lock.

The Greens need to lift the vote to win, with the 6.9 per cent secured at the 2016 ­double-dissolution short of what is needed.