Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Pauline Hanson declares One Nation's WA election performance 'a fantastic result'

Pauline Hanson declares One Nation's WA election performance 'a fantastic result'

"Voters knew what they wanted to achieve, to change the government", the senior figure said.

Senator Hanson insisted the media was covering up the extent of the One Nation vote, saying her party had already picked up three seats, and "possibly another two".

And despite Pauline Hanson putting the boots into their new preference pals the Liberals for their abysmal showing in the WA election, One Nation have only themselves to blame.

One source noted the preference deal could only have been struck in WA - where the Liberal and National parties are not in a formal alliance - and said it could have made a difference to the result if the election were closer. Weeks later, Newspoll forecast the party's vote had slumped to 8 per cent, in the wake of Senator Hanson's controversial statements questioning vaccinations and praising Russian president Vladimir Putin. "You've just got to take your medicine on that and move forward".

In the end, One Nation's assault on WA was a complete and utter shambles.

Before the vote, the governing Liberal party ditched its traditional allies to strike a deal with Hanson's party to swap preferences - a measure in Australia's voting system created to help both parties increase their presence in the new parliament.

"They did not tell people that their preferences were going to the Liberal Party as well".

Like the Liberals, One Nation disrespected their followers by assuming they would be happy jumping into bed with the Liberals.

However Mr Nicholls repeated his party's commitment to preference at the next election on a seat-by-seat basis.

Despite a poor showing in the WA election, One Nation could still make an impact on the upcoming Queensland poll, experts say. It was a mistake, ' she said.

Ms Hanson said the One Nation campaign was "rushed" and some disgruntled candidates had caused "havoc" during the campaign.

Underscoring the internal dissent, Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce broke ranks and suggested the decision to ditch traditional conservative allies and swap preferences with One Nation had indeed been a factor in the defeat, leaving voters unsure who they were voting for.

All the imbroglio with regards to preferences means people start to over-assess and exaggerate what they think the support is of their new partner and they also just confuse their constituencies.

It is a crushing blow to the Liberal Party in arguably its strongest state and the impact will reverberate around the nation.

- with Matthew Knott and Fergus Hunter.

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