Pauline Hanson Gets Four Senators, David Leyonhjelm Also Returned


Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party will have a total of four Senators after securing a surprise second seat in Queensland.

With the full results now in, the Coalition tally comes to 30 seats, with Labor securing 26, and the Greens nine.

Hanson herself was elected in third position in Queensland, while fellow Party member and climate sceptic Malcolm Roberts took out the final spot in the state and will join her on the new Senate crossbench.

Roberts was previously a ‘project leader’ at climate sceptic organisation the Galileo Movement. In a post announcing his success today, he flagged a desire to change Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, and made clear his intentions to use his position to challenge the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists.

The Australian Electoral Commission also confirmed today that One Nation had secured one spot in NSW, with Brian Burston elected in 11th position.

One Nation also had one Senator elected in Western Australia, and will therefore be the fourth largest party in the Senate, catapulting above Nick Xenophon’s block which will include three Senators.

NSW also re-elected outspoken Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm, who took the last spot in the state. In 2013, Leyonhjelm was first elected to the Senate after his party was placed first on the ballot, apparently confusing many voters who believed they were voting for the Liberal Party.

One Nation will not have enough members to help the government pass legislation in their own right, meaning the government will still need to secure support from others including Leyonhjelm, Xenophon’s group, Derryn Hinch, and Family First Senator Bob Day to pass bills without Labor or the Greens.

In Western Australia, the Greens scrapped home to score a second Senate spot, returning Senator Rachel Siewert in the state’s final spot. Janet Rice was also returned in Victoria, meaning the party will have only one less Senator than in the previous parliament, thanks to dropping a seat in South Australia. Lee Rhiannon was returned in NSW, where the party previously had just one Senator.

Earlier, Tasmania also returned two Greens, while Labor outsider Lisa Singh claimed a surprise victory after being controversially demoted on party’s ticket.

Independent Jacqui Lambie – formerly of Palmer’s United Party – was returned, easily, while the Motoring Enthusiasts Party’s Ricky Muir and former Democratic Labour Party Senator John Madigan were not.

Palmer’s United Party is now absent from either houses of parliament.

Max Chalmers is a former New Matilda journalist and editorial staff member. His main areas of interest are asylum seekers, higher education and politics.