One Nation defies polls, celebrates return to form
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party was celebrating a return to form as the party defied polls pointing to declining support and emerged from the election with a chance of increased Senate representation.
While One Nation had not secured any lower house seats at last count, the party commanded impressive support of between 13 and 22 percent in Queensland electorates such as Dawson, Capricornia, Flynn, Blair, Maranoa, Hinkler, Wright, Longman, Groom and the seats of Hunter and Paterson in New South Wales.
With the count in the House of Representatives still continuing Monday, One Nation had notched 3% of the national vote. This represents a more than doubling of One Nation’s vote in the 2016 Federal Election (1.29%) which saw the party burst back onto the political scene.
Although commentators highlight that Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party achieved a similar figure by standing 151 candidates across the country, this comparison doesn’t account for the fact that One Nation stood candidates in only 59 of the 151 House of Representatives divisions.
As of late Monday with 75% of the vote counted, One Nation had achieved an average 7.8% of the vote in areas it stood candidates.
Counting for the Senate is expected to continue for a number of weeks. The party’s best chance at increased representation is Malcolm Roberts for Queensland Senate who sits on 9.8% of the vote with just over 40% of Senate ballot papers counted. This places the party in a very strong position but fighting a scattered field of preference flows to achieve the 14.3% needed to secure Mr. Roberts’ return to Parliament.
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New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia Senate races continue with One Nation in smaller primary positions and having to rely on very large preference flows in the coming weeks’ counting to secure more seats.
The hope of increased One Nation Senate representation comes even in spite of a much harder, non-double dissolution election.
This year’s half-Senate election (where the quota for a Senate position has increased from 7.7%(2016) to 14.3%(2019)) has wiped out minor parties such as Fraser Anning’s Conservative Nationals, United Australia Party and Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party. Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservative’s have been unable to secure additional Senate positions.
Only time will tell the exact results in the Senate and while the party won’t be, “doing a Bill Shorten,” and counting its chickens before they hatch, it thanks all of its supporters, candidates and tireless volunteers that have helped increase the vote across the country in a resounding success.
The result shows Pauline Hanson’s One Nation is here to stay as a driving force in Australia politics and getting the country back on track.
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