TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Chris Salisbury, writes in the ‘Machinery of Government’ blog (3.2.17) about the threat posed to the established major conservative parties by One Nation, evidenced by recent defections of sitting and former LNP members to Pauline Hanson’s increasingly popular party.
‘Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was forced in the last month to wade through a Centrelink debt recovery debacle, parliamentary entitlement scandals, and a hasty frontbench reshuffle amid continuing backbench disquiet. The turmoil, though, is writ large in Queensland. Recent developments there have made the state a hotspot of animated political behaviour and commentary.
‘At the centre of this commotion is Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, who stepped up their assault on the two-party dominance of Queensland politics. The outspoken senator has spent much of the summer parliamentary break campaigning (though, officially, ‘not campaigning’) for One Nation in its home state. In shades of Clive Palmer’s bullish best, Hanson has declared her party aims to win government at the next state election, due by early 2018.
‘Reinforcing her claim in December, Hanson unveiled three dozen endorsed state candidates, with promises of more to come. They’ll stand in electorates mostly in regional and semi-urban areas outside the state’s capital, and more often than not, in Liberal National Party (LNP)-held seats. Hanson capped off a month of mischief by poaching a sitting LNP MP to join One Nation’s ranks. These bold moves highlight the party’s imminent threat to the conservative political establishment in Queensland and elsewhere.’