One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is not up for election herself in May, but her party is vying to win a Senate seat in every state. Her Western Australian Senate colleague Peter Georgiou is up for re-election and Malcolm Roberts is attempting to return Senate after being found ineligible by the High Court during the dual citizenship saga.
But One Nation has been under attack from the political mainstream since the Christchurch massacre, which began with Sunrise David Koch alleging that the killer’s maifesto read like One Nation policy.
Then there was the Al Jazeera entrapment documentary where a fake gun lobbyist Rodger Muller used hidden cameras to capture Hanson’s Chief of Staff James Ashby and Queensland Leader Steve Dickson fantasizing while drinking about receiving $20 million in funding from the National Rifle Association.
Add to that footage of Hanson appearing to question the official history of the Port Arthur Massacre Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that One Nation would be preferenced below the Labor Party on their how to vote cards at this election.
But One Nation bounced back in the New South Wales state election with their lead Legislative Council candidate former federal Labor leader Mark Latham scoring them 6.9% of the vote, or 1.5 quotas which in the final distribution of preferences saw the second candidate on the ticket Rod Roberts elected. This means One Nation will have 2 NSW MLC’s for eight years.
Buoyed by this result Hanson has hit back at the media and political establishment. She has turned Morrison’s decision to preference One Nation below the Labor Party into an advertisement to voters that if they vote for the Liberals you will elect a Labor Green Government.
With the horrific Christophobia Islamic terrorist attack in Sri Lanka Hanson has correctly highlighted the different and hypocritical response from the left when compared to Christchurch in a direct message video.
She pointed out that Bill Shorten and Penny Wong post Christchurch were quick to express their solidarity with Muslims and condemn white supremacy extremism. But post Sri Lanka they did not name then victims nor condemn the ideology of the perpetrators. She told them to call out the Islamic extremists.
On Tuesday morning Hanson appeared on the failing Today show whose all female line up has seen ratings tank since Karl Stefanovic was fired. Far-left host Deborah Knight called her a climate denier for supporting the Adani coal mine in Central Queensland.
Hanson refused to ware that label arguing the science of climate change was not settled and she would oppose the ratbag fly in left wing activists opposing local jobs in her state.
However recent polling has seen the minor party Senate race become more competitive with former federal MP Clive Palmer buying $30 million worth of ads which play almost every ad break on television and the internet.
Spending that obscene amount of money has bought a few percentage points in the polls and allowed the United Australia Party’s preferences to be crucial in some key marginal seats. Palmer himself will compete against Malcolm Roberts for a Queensland Senate.
Hanson has addressed Palmer directly in another video inquiring if he wants to make Australia great why are his corflutes made in China? And questioning if he has the ability to negotiate with the major parties and get positive outcomes for Australian people like she has.
She also slammed Scott Morrison for considering entering into a preference deal with Palmer. It’s fair to ask is Morrison so desperate to retain government that he would preference the man who when last in Parliament was instrumental in blocking the Abbott Government agenda which contributed to his downfall as Prime Minister?
Hanson has had everything thrown at her during her 20 plus years in political realm, but she’s still standing and has more fight in her than ever. She may not have millions like Palmer, but her personal brand is priceless.
She has been launching political counterattack one after the other this election. The voters love a fighter and an underdog. But Hanson’s main challenge will be the large field of parties on the right this election, especially in Queensland. It will be quite a fascinating minor party Senate race.