Queensland state Liberal National Party MP Steve Dickson for the seat of Buderim on the Sunshine Coast has announced that he is defecting to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation giving the party their first MP in the Queensland Parliament. Pauline Hanson and Steve Dickson gave a press conference together to announce the defection, Dickson stated he wanted to put ”people before politics” and that the major parties ”had lost their way”. Pauline Hanson made clear that she did not approach Steve Dickson asking him to defect nor did she offer him any deal however he will be the seat’s One Nation candidate at the 2018 State Election.
The defection is a stunning coup for the One Nation party which will send shock waves through not just the Queensland Liberal National Party but the federal parties as well. Now that one MP has shown the courage to defect which is not a decision taken lightly might embolden other MPs to do the same or at least become more assertive in their Liberal or National party rooms.
The defection comes at the perfect time for One Nation which has had a difficult week with the media going after the many of One Nation’s announced candidates for the 2018 State Election for their views on a variety of topics which saw one candidate disendorsed and of course the ongoing saga on WA Senator Rod Cullenton’s eligibility to sit in the federal parliament.
Today’s events should show that it is not the beginning of the end of One Nation and that they still have the ability to shake up the major parties. Given this week has demonstrated many MPs from all three major parties abusing their travel allowances the public will still be eager to give their vote to alternatives such as One Nation so the political establishment still needs to watch out.