Why Pauline hasn’t been on TV


The Queensland state election has marked a dramatic shift in strategy for a modern force in Australia's political landscape.

Pauline Hanson has been criticised by commentators and academics for drawing less attention to her One Nation Party than she has in previous state and federal polls.

Australians have become accustomed to seeing Senator Hanson on our television screens, fiercely dividing opinions on controversial topics such as immigration and refugees.

But the stalwart's "presence and profile has diminished in this election", according to University of Queensland political scientist Dr Glenn Kefford.

Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University said the strategy could be "the beginning of the end of One Nation as we understand it", as Senator Hanson forgoes political stunts such as wearing a burka in the Senate.

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Pauline Hanson on the election trail in Rockhampton.
Pauline Hanson on the election trail in Rockhampton.

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Instead, the minor party leader has opted for a boots-on-the-ground approach, trekking across the wide expanses of the state to visit as many of the 90 seats One Nation is contesting in Saturday's election.

Ms Hanson told NCA NewsWire her campaign style hadn't changed, but she had adopted a different approach to the Queensland regions where One Nation typically gained the most support.

"What I've noticed throughout this election is regional media has been cut to the bone by way of staff since the 2017 Queensland election," the senator said.

"There aren't the resources in regional TV, radio, or newspapers that there was when I was first re-elected, and therefore media coverage for One Nation has also been limited."

Ms Hanson said her team had focused on "hitting the ground and speaking with people across the whole state from the most northern parts of Queensland up in the Torres Strait to the very southern parts of Scenic Rim, Condamine and further west".


The burka-in-the-Senate stunt led to a spike in the party’s polls. Picture: Gary Ramage
The burka-in-the-Senate stunt led to a spike in the party’s polls. Picture: Gary Ramage


This shift in style led to a Courier-Mail analysis piece questioning Ms Hanson's role, claiming the senator has been "missing in action".

Polling for One Nation has slipped and political pundits doubt it can repeat the success of the 2017 state election when it polled second in 20 seats after preferences.

Dr Williams said One Nation relied exclusively on Ms Hanson's profile, referencing the burka in the Senate as an example of her power to generate traction.

"The One Nation vote was really tanking and then she did the burka in the Senate thing and it spiked, a really huge spike," he told NCA NewsWire.

He said her lower profile had left him "bamboozled", adding it's "poor politics on her party's part".

Dr Williams also said the minor party could be a victim of circumstances as the coronavirus health crisis and its ensuing economic collapse dominated the needs of constituents.

"One Nation doesn't campaign on economics anymore, it tends to campaign on cultural matters - immigrants, refugees, gays in schools etc," he said.

"And when people are worried about where their next meal is coming from, those things don't matter."

But Ms Hanson is hoping to have the last laugh, insisting the mileage she has racked up over the campaign has her well placed to hold the balance of power in a potentially hung parliament.

"If political scientists want to take off their little white coats and come and walk in my shoes for a week, they would quickly realise I'm nowhere near ready to slow down," she told NCA NewsWire.

"There's plenty of unfinished business, and if I want to leave a legacy when I finally do step away from politics, I need to get other like-minded people elected here in Queensland.

"One Nation is the only minor party to successfully grow its numbers across this country over the last 5 years, with members holding the shared balance of power in Western Australia and NSW as well as the federal parliament.

"Rest assured I'm not slowing down or about to hand the reins over anytime soon."

Originally published as Why Pauline hasn't been on TV