Despite a poor showing in the WA election, One Nation could still make an impact on the upcoming Queensland poll, experts say.
After polling as high as 13 per cent of the primary WA vote in the election lead-up, the far-right minor party managed just under five per cent of the total vote.
That wasn’t enough to gain any lower house seats although it did achieve at least one upper house spot.
Even so, ABC’s election analyst Antony Green points out that while One Nation polled 4.7 per cent overall, it actually managed 8.1 per cent in the seats it contested.
Queensland University of Technology political science Professor Clive Bean says the Sunshine State remains strong for One Nation and it can’t be written off for the upcoming Queensland election.
“I think Queensland has been more of a heartland for One Nation probably more so than any other part of Australia, so it could be that support holds up in Queensland,” Prof Bean told AAP.
“One of the things it will depend on is the campaigning by Pauline Hanson herself.”
In the final week of the campaign, Senator Hanson, who is a senator for Queensland, had to fight off claims she would push for fairer share of GST funding for WA at Queensland’s expense.
She also copped flak for her support of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, as well as comments about vaccination, which eventually led to a partial apology.
The preference deal between One Nation and the WA Liberal party has also been highlighted as a factor in the minor party’s poor showing, with even Senator Hanson describing it as “a mistake” on Saturday night.
However she laid most of the blame on ousted WA premier Colin Barnett rather than the preference deal itself
“It wasn’t One Nation. I think it was Colin Barnett – people did not want Colin Barnett,” Senator Hanson said.
Acting Queensland Premier Jackie Trad said Labor had ruled out any preference deals with One Nation and Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls should do the same.
“This should serve as a clear warning to Tim Nicholls and the Liberal National Party that people will not accept politicians who are more focused on doing sneaky preference deals than on actually delivering for Queenslanders,” Ms Trad said in a statement.
However Mr Nicholls repeated his party’s commitment to preference at the next election on a seat-by-seat basis.
“The LNP will not be entering into a coalition with One Nation and there are no deals to be done,” he said.
Prof Bean said the WA result seemed to indicate voters reacted badly to “tricky deals” with minor parties for preferences
“And indeed any party in government right now needs to be fairly concerned about its position, be it Labor or the coalition,” he said.
The Queensland election is due by early 2018 but widely tipped to be called for the latter half of this year.