A furious Pauline Hanson has fiercely defended her campaigning record after support for her One Nation party dropped by as much as 10 per cent in Queensland’s election.
Accused of not properly campaigning, the veteran politician insisted she had been out on the trail but the media had not properly covered her campaign.
Launching into a row with senator Murray Watt, who was in the Sky News studio to cover the election, she was laughed at by the Labor senator.
‘You actually spoke very highly of me,’ she furiously told the politician, ‘of the work I do as a senator, and you gave me credit for what I do for Queensland.’
‘I think you must be thinking of a different person there,’ he replied, grinning at his co-hosts off camera.
Furious at him palming off her suggestion, she started pointing her fingers at the camera.
Hanson (pictured on Saturday night), launched into a furious row on Sky News with senator Murray Watt
‘You know damn well you said it. You cannot blame me for passing good legislation,’ she said.
‘You’re embarrassed, and so you should be. What a load of rubbish Murray.’
Polls predicted that support for the party would drop as Senator Hanson has been accused of being unusually quiet in the lead up to the election.
Polling suggests One Nation recorded just 7.4 per cent of the primary vote which is down more than 6 per cent from the 2017 election.
ABC election analyst Antony Green said: ‘The story of this election at the moment is the collapse of the One Nation vote’.
Voters claim Senator Hanson has been drawing less attention to her One Nation Party than she has in previous state and federal polls.
Instead of taking to television screens to share her dividing opinion on controversial topics, Senator Hanson opted for a boots-on-the-ground approach.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has won enough seats to become Queensland’s premier for a third term, but the One Nation vote has ‘collapsed’
She trekked across much of the state to visit as many of the 90 seats One Nation has been contesting.
‘I have actually travelled Queensland quite extensively,’ she told Sky.
‘The difference was you have local media that don’t have the people on the ground to cover when I was there, I didn’t have an entourage to follow me around.’
Ms Hanson also told Sky News she didn’t believe the predictions that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would be re-elected, despite Labor being on the verge of retaining a majority in state parliament.
‘I’m not terribly concerned because … if you look at Rockhampton when you’ve got the polling booth in part of Rockhampton, outer city votes won’t be counted,’ Ms Hanson told Sky News.
‘There’s another big thing, with the postal votes, 30 per cent of those are going to be informal, that’s going to have a huge impact on his election, so I think it’s going to be too close to call tonight.
‘People are saying that Palaszczuk will get back in, I don’t think that will be the case,’ she said.
With 27 per cent of the vote counted on Saturday, Labor was on track to hold at least 46 seats on the back of a 4.9 per cent swing to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s team.
The Liberal National Party was likely to hold at least 28 seats.
Labor was polling a primary vote of 38.4 per cent with the Liberal National Party on 34.4 per cent.
A big factor going against the LNP is the collapse of the One Nation vote – down more than six per cent – and the holding up of the Greens vote.
The Greens appear on track to gain one seat – South Brisbane held by former deputy premier Jackie Trad – taking its numbers to two in the new parliament.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said retaining South Brisbane would be ‘challenging’ for Labor.
The Labor premier is set to make history as the first-ever female political leader to triumph at three elections, thanks to the support of retirees worried about COVID-19
‘But let’s be clear, it is only challenging because the Liberals had chosen to preference against her,’ he told the ABC.
‘If they had preferenced the Greens last, then Jackie wouldn’t be in trouble.’
Going into the election, of the 93 parliamentary seats, Labor held 48 to the LNP’s 38, with the cross bench comprising three Katter’s Australian Party members, one Greens, one One Nation, one North Queensland First and independent Sandy Bolton.
One Nation appeared likely to hold its seat with KAP also holding three and Ms Bolton returned in Noosa.
While the LNP was holding most of its traditional ground, the seats of Currumbin, Bundaberg, Chatsworth, Pumicestone and Caloundra were at risk of falling to Labor.
The swing was mixed across the state, with the southeast corner going two per cent towards Labor and 1.3 per cent to the LNP in regional parts.
Senior LNP MP David Crisafulli said there were effectively two elections under way.
Opposition Leader Deb Freckington has largely backed Labor’s border closure, apart from criticising the premier in September for stopping 26-year-old Canberra nurse Sarah Caisip from attending her father Bernard Prendergast’s Brisbane funeral
‘The mood in regional Queensland is palpable. They are waiting with baseball bats,’ he said.
Gold Coast based federal minister Karen Andrews said the result was ‘clearly not heading in the direction we would want it to go’.
Ms Andrews put the swing to Labor down to older voters who ‘probably feel safe with the borders closed’ endorsing Ms Palaszczuk’s strategy in dealing with the coronavirus.
‘What we have been saying is that this is a crisis on two levels, health and economy, but clearly in some cases health was the most significant for people,’ she told the ABC.
Labor national president Wayne Swan said Ms Palaszczuk had earned an ‘enduring respect’ for her approach to the pandemic.
‘What interests me is the strength so far on the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast,’ he said.