There’s history to this, dating back to Palmer’s earliest foray into conservative politics. Palmer was 29 and already rich when Joh Bjelke-Petersen ripped up the state coalition agreement and formed a historic National Party government in Queensland without the Liberals. He decided to get involved and by 1986 was the Nationals’ official spokesman, just as BjelkePetersen’s horizons were broadening. The Queensland premier’s bid to switch to federal politics turned into the ill-fated “Joh for PM” campaign, which helped sink John Howard at the 1987 election and destroy the first iteration of his leadership. The irony is that Palmer was never on board: he tried to talk BjelkePetersen out of Joh for Canberra.