Who needs policies and promises when you have millions of dollars for an advertising campaign?
Thankfully, anyone who votes for the United Australia Party won’t be disappointed by broken promises, unless they were hoping for regular updates on his mobile game…
Clive Palmer has been reported on spending over $30 million on his advertising campaigns, but on Saturday he stated, “We’ve spent $50 million, and just three weeks ago everyone said: Why is Mr Palmer doing this…he won’t get any votes. They’re not saying that now are they?”. With the scale of Mr Palmer’s advertising, through TV, billboards and text messages it is unsurprising that there has been an increase in support.
Over the past week alone, the UAP has spent over $2 million on advertising compared to the Liberals ($260,000) and Labor ($590,000). Senator Hanson from One Nation recognised the UAP’s enormous campaign telling Today “Of course that is going to cut through…how on earth can you actually compete with that?”
Initially, the advertising campaign was looking like a waste of money with a Roy Morgan Poll in February indicating only 1% of the vote for the United Australia Party. However, recent polls have suggested a moderate swing towards the UAP.
On the 20th of April, Newspoll conducted seat polls in the key marginals of Herbert, Lindsay, Deakin and Pearce. The support of the UAP was 5% in Deakin, 8% in Pearce, 14% in Herbert and 7% in Lindsay. Although seat polls are often unreliable, this is a significant increase from the 1% vote earlier in the year.
Mr Palmer is running candidates in all 151 lower house seats plus several Senate candidates giving the UAP are a genuine chance of gaining significant power within the government.
These new statistics highlight the power of money and advertising regarding politics in Australia. The Australia columnist Troy Bramston stated, “If you’ve got $30 million, you can buy massive political influence in this country, that’s what it shows”. It is an alarming reality, especially considering the ‘policies’ tab of the United Australia Party website contains ONLY four broad goals.
Is this how elections will be won in the future? Whoever has the most money and superior advertising strategy will reign victorious, regardless of their policies? Bramston continues to state, “For a guy who lacked credibility and integrity in his business life and public life, he’s on the verge of making a stunning political comeback”. Mr Palmer has been surrounded by controversy and backlash from the general public, but once again he is in a position to re-enter government.
May 18th. We will find out if money and advertising are all you need to win an election.