Palmer’s bold full-page newspaper ad
CLIVE Palmer has made a fairly significant prediction in full-page advertisements running in numerous newspapers across Australia today.
The Queensland businessman and United Australia Party leader, who is running for the Senate, has declared that his party "will win government".
In an open later to "men and women of Australia", Mr Palmer also takes a leaf from US President Donald Trump's book by imploring people to ignore "fake news".
"The United Australia Party is on track to win government at the next federal election," Mr Palmer writes.
If literally every other candidate was to suddenly die, that extraordinarily big call may actually eventuate. We'll see.
Meanwhile, Mr Palmer is just asking for trouble, after all that drama surrounding his mass text message spamming of millions of Australians.
Following his open letter are two pages spruiking his candidates.
"We're coming!" the header reads, followed by an introduction to the "everyday people who will put Australia first".
But Mr Palmer made the brave decision to include each candidate's mobile phone number beneath their headshots.
Although, he neglected to put his own digits beneath his picture, in what surely must be an oversight.
Mr Palmer copped a fierce backlash after his party sent a series of campaign messages to millions of mobiles across the country with no opt-out option.
GETUP! LAUNCHES CONTROVERSIAL NEW CAMPAIGN
On the back of pulling a campaign video attacking Tony Abbott that sparked a backlash from lifesavers, left-wing activist group GetUp! has taken things to a new level.
In a text message sent to those who supported the group's activities surrounding the same-sex marriage plebiscite, it urged volunteers to help deliver "a parliament free of homophobes".
"You stepped up to call voters for marriage equality and we won!" the SMS reads.
"Now, we're a month out from the election - our chance to win safe schools and a parliament free of homophobes.
"Can you re-enter the fray and join the fight to boot out Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton, and other hard right pollies?"
Yesterday, the controversial group was forced to withdraw a video that showed a Mr Abbott impersonator sitting on a beach dressed as a lifesaver, refusing to help a drowning swimmer.
Last week, a GetUp! manual for volunteers in the crucial seat of Kooyong emerged, advising them to tell voters that Liberal MP and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was part of the coup that toppled Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Frydenberg was a supporter of the former PM and there has never been a suggestion that he was part of the push for last year's leadership challenge.
Paul Oosting, the boss of GetUp!, has defended the claim but the group has since removed the references from its manifesto.
BILLIONAIRES OUT IN FORCE
It's nice to have friends in high places when you're vying to become the next Prime Minister - or retain the position.
This week, it emerged that billionaire pub baron Justin Hemmes is throwing a swanky fundraiser for Scott Morrison at his sprawling mansion in Sydney's east.
The Merivale boss, whose empire underpaid thousands of workers, well below the current hospitality industry award, will throw a cocktail party for the PM two weeks out from the May 18 poll.
Now, billionaire mining magnate Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has confirmed he will also host a fundraiser at his compound in Perth next week.
But he will also throw a party for Labor leader Bill Shorten a few days before, with a family spokesperson telling The West Australian newspaper that Mr Forrest and wife Nicola were taking a "bipartisan approach".
GREENS HOPEFUL DEFENDS 'AGGRESSIVE' VIDEO
A Greens candidate has refused to apologise after vision emerged of him smashing a likeness of Scott Morrison's head with a bat.
Jim Casey is running in the inner-Sydney seat of Grayndler for the second time against Labor frontbencher and veteran MP Anthony Albanese.
The former firefighter and union official has defended the video, uploaded to social media by a friend, that shows him at a house party. Watch the clip below.
A blindfolded Mr Casey is shown whacking a pinata of Mr Morrison's face with a bat while onlookers cheer. He then yells: "I killed him."
"Anyone who's been to a party with a piñata knows you're supposed to hit it with a stick," he said via a statement. "There is nothing sinister about this video."
Mr Albanese, who defeated Mr Casey by a significant margin of 31 per cent at the 2016 federal election, told The Daily Telegraph the clip was distasteful.
"What we need is more civilised political engagement," he told the newspaper. "What we don't need is aggression in place of being able to articulate a political vision for the country."
Speaking to the website 10Daily, Mr Casey declared criticism of the video "an absolute beat-up" and slammed media coverage of the incident.
"I'm an ordinary bloke, a firefighter by trade. I live a normal life, and sometimes that involves hitting a pinata with a stick," he said.
"The issue here is there's too much professionalising of the political life.
"I don't think I have anything to apologise for. I'd far prefer to talk about what's happening with our climate, our industrial affairs laws, about why people can't afford to live in Sydney. There are questions far more pressing than this."
LEADERS PAUSE FOR ANZACS
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is in Townsville today and attended an Anzac Day dawn service with his wife Jenny in the north Queensland town.
Labor leader Bill Shorten is in Darwin and has also paused campaigning to attend a dawn service with veterans.
He addressed the media afterwards to comment on reports of a thwarted terrorist attack in Turkey, targeting Australians at Gallipoli.
"This is deeply concerning," Mr Shorten said.
"I'd urge Australians who have family overseas and indeed Australians travelling overseas to please check with the Department of Foreign Affairs travel advisory. It's currently advising a high level of caution for people (in Turkey).
"This world should have no tolerance for violent extremism, violent Islamic extremism, or extremism from any quarter. What we can't let it do is discourage the marvellous tradition of young Australians in particular, but (all) Australians, travelling to battlefields where Australians have fallen in conflicts.
"We should be proud of our identity, our history, we should learn about the sacrifice."
LABOR MET WITH PALMER
A senior Labor Party official held "secret meetings" with Clive Palmer's United Australia Party last week to negotiate a preference deal, according to reports.
The proposed partnership was sparked by growing concerns that the coal magnate's candidates could swing several seats in Queensland back to the Coalition.
The Australian newspaper reports Michael O'Connor, the brother of Labor frontbencher Brendan O'Connor and the national secretary of the powerful CFMEU union, meet Mr Palmer in Brisbane last week.
That's despite the Labor leader lashing Mr Palmer in public over his enormous $30 million advertising blitz and unpaid entitlements to workers at his failed Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville.
Mr Shorten is yet to comment on the secret meetings but his deputy Tanya Plibersek told the newspaper that she had "no idea what's happening with the preference negotiations".
The latest Newspoll shows support for the UAP has surged, receiving between five and 15 per cent of the primary vote.
Mr Morrison and the Coalition are also discussing a preference deal with Mr Palmer and The Australian reports they are close to reaching an agreement.