One Nation leader Pauline Hanson speaking to the media after winning a Queensland senate seat.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson speaking to the media after winning a Queensland senate seat. DAN PELED

Has Hanson learnt from the past?

IN THE late 1990s One Nation was at its peak.

Founder Pauline Hanson won the federal seat of Oxley in 1996. In the 1998 Queensland election the party won 11 seats on 22.7% of the vote - more than either the Liberals or the Nationals.

But by the next election One Nation had split and its support evaporated.

Now One Nation is set to be a major player in the Federal Senate after it won about 9% of the senate vote in Queensland and about 4% nationwide.

Has the party or its opponents learnt lessons from their time in the sun? Although Ms Hanson is now a long-time politician she has only been in parliament for two years.

She famously won the Ipswich-based seat of Oxley in 1996 as a Liberal candidate before then-Prime Minister John Howard expelled her. After a redistribution of Oxley she contested the new seat of Blair in the October 1998 Federal election - losing to the Liberals on preferences.

Despite Ms Hanson being out, her colleagues continued to play a major role in Queensland parliament. But the promised revolution did not last long.

Divisions led to five One Nation MPs forming the breakaway City-Country Alliance. Griffith University political expert Tracey Arklay said with Ms Hanson in the Senate and Queensland leader Heather Hill failing to win her seat, the Queensland party lacked leadership and experience.

Prof Arklay said there were lessons for One Nation from the 1998 Queensland parliament - but not much for the major parties.

Prof Arklay said parties full of first-time politicians risked collapse: "Palmer (United Party) is a classic example of this.

"It'll be interesting to see how the One Nation senators actually perform and how they toe the party line."

Prof Arklay believed Ms Hanson had the political experience to run a party more successfully than PUP or the Queensland One Nation party had been. - ARM NEWSDESK


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