The West

Palmer ducks questions after poll
Palmer ducks questions after poll

After weeks of promising to stand up for WA, Clive Palmer and his likely new senator Dio Wang have gone missing and are refusing to answer questions about how they will use their new-found power in the Upper House.

Mr Palmer and Mr Wang have not been seen since polling day, with suggestions both men have flown to the billionaire's home State, Queensland.

In a text message to _The West Australian _, Mr Palmer said simply that Sunday was a "day of rest" and suggested he might resurface tomorrow.

With almost 70 per cent of ballots counted, Mr Wang looks almost certain to win a Senate seat, with 12.5 per cent of the vote.

He has come under fire during the election for his reluctance to appear before the media.

The Greens say Mr Wang, who heads a Perth mining company controlled by Mr Palmer, should exempt himself from votes on the carbon and mining taxes if he is to avoid a conflict of interests.

Mr Wang will likely win his seat in part with the support of preferences from Family First, the Australian Sports Party, Katter's Australia Party and the Shooters and Fishers.

The mastermind behind the success of the so-called micro-parties said Mr Palmer owed his success in part to deals cut with small interest groups to block electoral reforms.

Political strategist and self-styled preference whisperer Glenn Druery said Mr Palmer had written to the micro-parties after the 2013 ballot was declared invalid promising to vote for their interests in return for preferences.

Greens senator Scott Ludlam said Mr Palmer's massive advertising blitz had worked and all political parties should look at reforms to limit the funds that could be spent on campaigning.

The Green said that with Mr Palmer promising to abolish the carbon tax, the Queenslander had effectively run on a platform of tax avoidance.

Despite fears from the major parties, it looks unlikely that any of the micro-party interest groups will win a WA Senate seat this time.

At the last Federal election, the Australian Sports Party came close to winning a Senate seat, thanks largely to the advice of Mr Druery.

There were predictions that pro-marijuana group the HEMP Party would win a seat at the election re-run, but that now appears unlikely.

Mr Druery was unconcerned about threats from the major parties they would push for new rules to make it tougher for micro-parties to form and cut complicated preference deals.

The West Australian

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