The 2020 Queensland elections have dealt a further blow to the already embattled Pauline Hanson, with support for the Queensland branch of her One Nation Party having fallen as much as 6% across the state in this year’s primary vote. Despite this, it is likely the party will maintain its seat in the inner Queensland electorate of Mirani.
In what was possibly the most bizarre moment of last night’s election coverage, One Nation boss James Ashby, who is openly gay, went on a bizarre rant when interviewed by the ABC, blaming One Nation’s poor result on Annastacia Palaszczuk’s “fear game” in the election campaign, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Labor played that card until the end. COVID fear, and I think, too, that the Liberal-National Party certainly didn’t put forward a very good alternative government in this state.” Ashby said. “Under this Palaszczuk Government [the bush] they’re going to miss out even worse and it will be the farmers that will suffer and it will be you down in the southeast corner that will suffer most because your fruit and vegetable prices will go through the roof. We will be stung significantly.
“The fishermen out there will absolutely be raped and pillaged, and I tell you what, it will be Labor’s fault. You watch, it’s coming. You’ve got four years to suffer this.”
“The Q is for queer, and I asked the question in parliament – well what is queer? I have no understanding, I’m sorry, I’m from the old school, I’m sick of all these letters. There are about 37 or 39 different categories,” Hanson said on record.
Such comments of course are in stark contrast to Queensland Labor, who are predicted to claim as many as 54 seats and enough for majority government. The party in August made history by passing in to legislation the Health Legislation Amendment Bill, which contained provisions criminalising conversion practices in health settings.
However, One Nation was not the only casualty of the 2020 Queensland elections. Due to the flow on effects of preference votes, LNP’s failed bid to take hold of the Queensland Government is also being attributed to the fall in One Nation’s popularity. So far with more than 60% of votes counted, the LNP is only predicted to take 34 seats.
Storming home to claim a third term as premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk is the first women in Australian political history to do so. Elsewhere in the state, the Katter United party has retained three seats while the Greens have maintained the seat of Maiwar in Brisbane’s inner west, while also managing to claim victory over Labor’s Jackie Trad in South Brisbane.