A VOTE for the Palmer United Party would cost jobs and be a waste, former Liberal prime minister John Howard warned in Launceston yesterday.
Mr Howard left the state yesterday after attending a Liberal dinner on Saturday and warning about what he says would be a mis-direction of non-Labor votes.
``Coalition government doesn't work in a state that needs economic development,'' he said.
``It is obvious that there is only one party that can form a majority government _ that is the Liberal party.
``Now the only real threat to that _ and therefore the Liberal majority government _ is that people who do not want Labor might decide to waste their vote with the Palmer party.
``If Palmer gets one or two seats he is then in the position to bargain with the Liberal party in relation to another coalition government and you have seen over the last four years that those things don't work.
``A state like Tasmania needs to send a clear message to the rest of the country that investment is welcome and that jobs are a top priority and it can only do that if it is unfettered, if it can have a clear majority in its own right.''
Palmer United Party Tasmanian leader Kevin Morgan said in a democracy, the people, not political parties, decided if it was a waste or not to support candidates.
Mr Morgan said PUP polling showed the party could already win 3-4 seats and realistically go to 7-8 seats.