Queensland Voters Explain Why They Backed Pauline Hanson In The 2016 Election

'She's the only one to have the guts to get things done.'

04/07/2016 2:31 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
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Pauline Hanson has been returned to parliament.

"I think other politicians have done a rotten job so far, so we should give her a go," says Shelley, at the Tattersalls Hotel in Maryborough, an hour south of Bundaberg.

"They tried to break her last time, and it didn't work."

Pauline Hanson has claimed a Senate seat for Queensland. The One Nation leader drew more than 134,000 first-preference votes in the Sunshine State -- a number bested only by the Liberal-Nationals and the Labor Party, and higher than the Greens, meaning Hanson herself will become a senator and that she may even draw enough preferences to snatch a second spot for her One Nation running mate.

Since it became clear that Hanson would be re-entering federal politics, many have criticised their fellow Australians for voting for her. But the fact of the matter is, she won a spot fair and square. She attracted more votes than all but the biggest two parties. She obviously taps into a feeling of cynicism among some Queensland voters.

The Huffington Post Australia called establishments around some of the areas where One Nation polled most strongly in Queensland -- the electorates of Wright and Wide Bay, where One Nation candidates polled 21 percent and 15 percent respectively (the One Nation candidate in Oxley, the seat Hanson herself once represented, only attracted eight percent of the vote). We managed to find quite a few people very happy and proud that they had helped Hanson to return to federal parliament.

Dale, at the Gunalda Hotel in Gympie, voted for Pauline.

"She's the only one to have the guts to get things done," he said.

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Hanson voting on election day

He admitted that he had "not a clue what her policies are" but said he supported her because she seemed more honest and upfront than other politicians. That would be a common theme voiced by many that we spoke to.

"When she had the first go [in parliament, as the MP for Oxley], everyone kicked her in the guts, but she was spot on the money. She needs a go. Politicians don't need to keep getting pay rises all the time, that's the main thing, she can stop the bastards getting pay rises and make them earn it."

When asked about whether he supported One Nation's policies around Islam and immigration, Dale said he didn't know the exact details, but "if I went to a different country, I'd take on what they believe in, not take my shit and try to change things.

""Hopefully she does a good job."

We asked whether many people in the pub had been talking about Hanson or the election. Dale replied: "in this pub, when you start talking about politics, people start carrying on like f***wits".

Eric, at the Coronation Hotel in Ipswich -- where Hanson famously operated her fish and chip shop -- said he didn't vote for Pauline, but that he was happy she was elected nonetheless.

"I didn't vote for her personally, but a few people did around the pub. She probably wont be able to make a big difference, but shes a straight talker," Eric admitted.

"People are so disillusioned with the major parties."

Eric brought up comments by Labor leader Bill Shorten on Monday, where Shorten blamed PM Malcolm Turnbull's plan for a double dissolution for seeing One Nation re-enter parliament.

"Shorten has his head up his arse, saying that. They haven't done themselves any favours," he said.

"I think it will be a good thing. She brings some common sense, they're not extreme views."

Shelley, at the Tattersall's in Maryborough, voted for Pauline.

"Hopefully she won't just talk about it, she'll do it," she said. When we asked what Shelley hoped Hanson would change, she said she "wouldn't know where to begin".

Shelley didn't back Hanson's strong anti-Islam or anti-immigration push, but said she was hoping for a change in the way politicians act.

"With any luck, it can't get any worse. Everyone else already makes it worse, why not give her a turn?"

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Hanson, in her days as MP for Oxley, in 1996

A bloke at the Tent Hill Hotel in Gatton, an hour-and-a-half west of Brisbane, supported Pauline. He declined to give his name, and replied "who I vote for is my business", but said people in his town supported her.

"She came out this way and got on the right side of a lot of people. I think there was a lot of support for her, from what I heard around the town and the pub," he said.

"A lot of them think she supports the people, not like politicians supporting themselves. They say she's more interested in the people than the position."

"I think she'll shake things up, that's what parliament needs."

Shelley, at the Commercial Hotel in Gatton, voted for Pauline.

"She seems more honest than anyone else, she speaks the truth," she said. Shelley told us about plans to build a mosque in Gatton, which had riled up locals.

"I'm not racist by any means, but we're a small town, we're supposed to be getting this mosque. It has disrupted some people. I think [Hanson in parliament] will be good. She'll bring a bit of peace to the world. I think she will do as best as she can, try her best," she said.

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