One Nation will demand ministries if LNP needs it to form government, says Campbell Newman

Former premier predict’s Pauline Hanson’s party will pick up six seats at next Queensland election due in 2018

Campbell Newman has said One Nation will demand its own ministers in the next Liberal National party government in Queensland if Pauline Hanson’s party wins the balance of power in the next state election, due in 2018.

The former premier predicted One Nation would seize on its return to influence at the state level, after meeting with Hanson’s chief adviser, James Ashby, in Brisbane yesterday.

“The next government is going to be needing the support of One Nation to govern and my humble opinion – and I’m not going to reveal confidences – is that I think that the price for One Nation support will be power,” Newman told the Courier-Mail.

“They will be asking for ministerial positions.”

Newman has said he met with Ashby by chance on Thursday at the Waterfront Place building, which houses Hanson’s Senate office as well as other corporate offices.

He said he was interested in One Nation’s plans as he was now a political commentator for Sky News.

Newman – who lost government and his own state seat last year after a whirlwind and combative term in office marked by large public service sackings, environmental deregulation and draconian criminal law reforms – said One Nation would pick up six seats in the next Queensland election.

One Nation could win as many as 10 seats, according to a recent Galaxy Poll published by the Australian.

Labor will preference One Nation last, sticking to a longstanding and formerly bipartisan arrangement rooted in historical condemnation of Hanson’s race-based rhetoric.

The LNP opposition leader, Tim Nicholls, has repeatedly declined to say whether his party will put One Nation ahead of Labor in the first election in almost two decades in which preferential voting will be compulsory.

One Nation’s revival came with a contemporary twist in Hanson’s anti-immigration rhetoric, from talking about job insecurity for Australians caused by Asian migrants to cultural and national security issues with Muslim migrants. The party also opposes mainstream climate change policy and advocacy, with Hanson’s fellow Queensland senator and former coalminer Malcolm Roberts an ardent skeptic.

Newman predicted Labor and the Liberal National party would both lose seats to One Nation.

He told the Courier-Mail that Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson, recently sacked as agriculture minister because of an imbroglio around unpaid bills, was at particular risk, while Labor would lose another two seats in north Queensland.

The seat of Lockyer, in which LNP MP Ian Rickuss beat Hanson by less than 200 votes, was wide open to One Nation with his retirement, Newman said.


Joshua Robertson

The GuardianTramp

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