'We helped Coalition to victory' - United Australia hopeful
FORMER United Australia Party candidate for Richmond Hamish Mitchell says he is not disappointed his party did not win a single seat in the Federal election and claims he will hold winning Labor MP Justine Elliot to account.
Clive Palmer's party failed miserably in the Federal election despite spending a whopping $60 million on its advertising campaign.
Mr Mitchell told the Tweed Daily News he believed his party helped pave the Coalition's path to victory despite its poor result.
"I don't think it's disappointing at all, I was asked the question early on in the campaign how do you expect to go, and I thought if I got four per cent in my first run that would be credible, and I think most other candidates would feel the same," he said.
Mr Mitchell received 3.8 per cent of the majority vote.
He said he did not feel the enormous amount of money spent on advertising by his party had been a waste as it had helped form a "right-wing" government.
"People have asked if I thought the gigantic splurge of money was a waste seeing as we got no seats in the House of Representatives, but I still feel like the message resonated with people that you couldn't trust the Shorten government, it was going into the unknown and that played out for the Liberal Party better than the Labor Party," he said.
"I'd say it has been a success for what our views are on the right-wing, if we're aligned with preferencing Nationals and Liberals, I'd say we had a bit to do with it, there's was a one per cent difference and the United Australia Party received 3.5 per cent.
"Whether you like Clive or hate Clive it doesn't matter, they collected 3.5 per cent of votes across the nation that went to the Liberals, so it did help."
Mr Mitchell said he planned to contest the next election but was unsure of which party he would represent.
"I'm not going away, I made a commitment to a lot of the people that voted for me that are disillusioned with Justine and some of her efforts over the last few years," he said.
"She's been there a long time and I've made it public that whoever wins will be held accountable as they won't be doing the job I'd be doing and they'll have pressure from me all the time.
"At this stage I don't know what party I'll be affiliated with or if I'll put my hand up for pre-selection for someone with similar right-wing views, but it's definitely a good place to live and a good place to be passionate about."