Clive Palmer accused the major parties of making their MPs “toe the party line” on a range of important issues.
Clive Palmer accused the major parties of making their MPs “toe the party line” on a range of important issues. Sharyn O'Neill

PUP members to get conscience vote on abortion, gay marriage

PALMER United Party members who win seats at the next election will get a conscience vote on social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, party leader Clive Palmer has revealed.

Mr Palmer accused the major parties of making their MPs "toe the party line" on a range of important issues.

"The Palmer United Party believes issues such as same-sex marriage, the abortion debate and euthanasia should all come down to the candidate's individual position on the issue," Mr Palmer said.

"The mainstream parties force their candidates and MPs to vote as one with the party, making individuals go against their personal views, religious beliefs and strong convictions."

On the issue of same-sex marriage, former prime minister Julia Gillard gave Labor MPs a conscience vote even though she was opposed to the change.

It was a luxury Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has not extended to Coalition MPs.

But even with Labor MPs having a free vote, legislation to legalise same-sex marriage has not passed the Federal Parliament.

Mr Palmer formed his own political party earlier this year after a public falling out with the Liberal National Party in Queensland.

He is determined to field candidates in all 150 lower house seats at the federal election.


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