Tim Colebatch writes in Inside Story (4.8.16) about the ripples of fearfulness that have propelled Pauline Hanson to unexpected success, after the final make-up of the new Senate today became clear, with Queensland electing two One Nation Senators, in addition to one from each of New South Wales and Western Australia. The author asks – ‘has she the smarts to use that power?’
‘When Pauline Hanson stood for the Senate in New South Wales in 2013 she won just 1.2 per cent of the vote. It was her seventh consecutive defeat at federal and state elections, and her most humiliating. We thought she was finished.
‘But as terrorist attacks on the West have increased, Pauline Hanson has come back. At last year’s Queensland election, she came within cooee of winning the seat of Lockyer. And now Queensland has given her two seats in the Senate, and Australia has given her four Senate seats, and she has more power in federal parliament than she has ever had before.
‘… No one saw this coming, not on this scale. Sure, with the quota for election lowered to 7.8 per cent for the double dissolution, it looked like Hanson herself would finally win a Senate seat, after failing so often in the past. But two seats in Queensland, another in New South Wales, a fourth in Western Australia, and almost a fifth in Tasmania – no rebel party on the right has achieved that since the DLP was at its peak half a century ago.’