After less than a year in the Senate, the Palmer United Party (PUP) has lost another senator, with Glenn Lazarus announcing overnight on his Facebook page overnight that he would now look to continue in politics as an independent.
The Queensland senator wrote that it “was a difficult decision”. In giving a reason for his defection, Lazarus, a former rugby league international player, said, “I have a different view of team work. Given this, I felt it best that I resign from the party and pursue my Senate role as an independent senator”.
Read his media statement below:
The move comes as a blow for Clive Palmer and his PUP, with only Western Australian Senator Dio Wang remaining. PUP famously lost outspoken Senator Jacqui Lambie last year when she also quit the party to become an independent and party leader Palmer, as the Member for Fairfax, is a senator. Despite promising great things when the new Senate commenced on 1 July 2014, the Palmer United Party now has very little bargaining power.
Should senators, who are elected on a specific party ticket, be able to serve as independents, or indeed, switch parties during a Senate term? How do you think the defection of Senator Lazarus will affect voting in the Senate? Will it make it more difficult or easier for the Abbott Government’s to have its legislation passed by the Senate?