Clive Palmer's Last-Minute Attempt To Change Election Day Rules
Clive Palmer is nervous about people climbing aboard the "bandwagons" of the major parties come federal election day.
The billionaire businessman wants to change the rules to stop last-minute voters from changing their minds.
He is asking the High Court to ban the Australian Electoral Commission revealing preference results until all polls have closed.
This could force voters to wait several extra hours before learning the likely results.
Lawyers for Palmer are asking that only basic results be published until 9:30pm AEST on election day, after the last polling booths in Western Australia have closed.
Palmer argues releasing more detailed data earlier in the evening could influence people yet to vote.
He is worried that WA voters may be swayed by the perceived performance of his United Australia Party candidates in the eastern states.
Palmer's case takes aim at the AEC's two-candidate preferred counting practice.
This is used on election night to give an early indication of results.
But the two candidates listed are almost always from Labor and the coalition, rather than the minor parties or independents.
Lawyers for Palmer argue this practice favours the major parties, creates an appearance their candidates have greater authority and could misinform voters about the true state of the count.
David Jackson QC told the full bench on Monday people could be swept up in a "bandwagon effect" and vote for whichever party looks most likely to win.
Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue downplayed the potential "bandwagon" effect.
Donaghue said last-minute voters in WA voters could be influenced by many other factors, including basic voting figures and exit polls.
He also argued the federal election was not a presidential race, with people in WA voting for different local candidates than those on the east coast.
The hearing continues on Tuesday morning.