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Australian PM's party, One Nation look for answers after state poll flop

Australian PM's party, One Nation look for answers after state poll flop

"Once you do a preference deal with One Nation you lose all your moderates on one side who vote Labor, and a lot of your conservatives drift to One Nation".

'Major parties, have no doubt, they see me and One Nation as a threat to their political existence'.

But as soon as One Nation cut a deal with the Liberals, its loyal followers jumped off the bandwagon, because Pauline Hanson's party underestimated how much it would rankle people.

The dust has hardly settled but the blame game is already under way over the Liberal Party's disastrous performance in Western Australia's state election.

Senator Hanson blamed Labor for spooking voters about One Nation's now-infamous preference deal with Colin Barnett's Liberals, and said the "scare campaign" was "all I heard" at polling booths on Saturday.

With 67 per cent of the vote counting on Saturday night, One Nation's primary vote was a dismal 4.7 per cent.

Before the vote, the governing Liberal party ditched its traditional allies to strike a deal with Hanson's party to swap preferences - a measure in Australia's voting system created to help both parties increase their presence in the new parliament. Weeks later, Newspoll forecast the party's vote had slumped to 8 per cent, in the wake of Senator Hanson's controversial statements questioning vaccinations and praising Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Rodney Smith, a politics professor at the University of Sydney, said the result showed the limitation of the nationalist rhetoric of populist lawmakers, at least in local elections. "You've just got to take your medicine on that and move forward".


"They did not tell people that their preferences were going to the Liberal Party as well".

"The LNP will not be entering into a coalition with One Nation and there are no deals to be done", he said.

"The next federal election is more than two years away and all preference decisions will be considered by the party organisation closer to an election", Mr Turnbull said.

The result will also see mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton escape a state tax on their iron ore businesses proposed by the rural-centric National Party, which fell short of obtaining the influence to force such a measure.

Acting Queensland Premier Jackie Trad said Labor has ruled out any preference deals with One Nation, and Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls should do the same.

Voters who supported an anti-establishment party were angry it had done a deal with the establishment and she indicated there would be no more deals.

- with Matthew Knott and Fergus Hunter.


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