How we helped Pauline return to parliament
BUNDABERG voters have helped power Pauline Hanson back into parliament.
In terms of the percentage of One Nation votes per electorate, Hinkler was third and the Wide Bay was seventh in Queensland, helping to deliver the One Nation leader the votes she needed to claim a spot in the Senate.
Hanson is one of the most divisive figures in Australian politics.
Since she first burst onto the political scene in 1994 (and later as leader of the One Nation Party), Ms Hanson's views, particularly on immigration, has seen the Queenslander earn popularity based on her "ability to ask difficult questions".
She has been accused of xenophobia and racism.
Ms Hanson held the seat of Oxley as an Independent from 1996 until 1998, and unsuccessfully contested a total of eight elections (four federal, two Queensland and two New South Wales state elections).
But the leader of the reborn Pauline Hanson's One Nation party is on track for not just one, but potentially two Queensland Senate seats, and Bundaberg is one region that voted heavily in her favour.
With the count almost completed Hanson's One Nation party has garnered 19.51% of Hinkler voters and 14.94% of Wide Bay voters.
The party's state-wide count is currently 9.16%.
Hanson's success does not stop at the Senate, with both of the party's House of Representatives' candidates for Hinkler and Wide Bay polling well.
As of print deadline yesterday, Damian Huxham had earned 14,884 first preference votes in Hinkler, while Elise Cottam earned 11,080 first preferences in the Wide Bay electorate.
While Mr Huxham was unavailable for comment yesterday, his spokesman told the Chronicle Mr Huxham was proud to have helped land Pauline a seat in the senate.
"One Nation is now a bona fide third political force for our country with Pauline Hanson as our party leader and many more Senators elected as the preference distribution counts will reveal," the spokesman said.
He said the result was a reflection of how voters were feeling about the major parties.
"The people of Hinkler are the first to speak their mind about the major parties through the ballot box and on the street," he said.
"These results will give the rest of the nation the confidence to speak up too, to put aside fear of victimisation from the 'political correctness' warriors and know that their voices do matter and will be heard."
Ms Cottam said while she was disappointed that the major parties received so much support from voters, she was proud to have helped Pauline succeed.
"I was a little disappointed because there is still a big swing for Labor and Liberal; the polls didn't reflect what people were saying," Ms Cottam said.
"Wide Bay and Hinkler definitely contributed and we're very proud of it.
"I'll follow her (Pauline) to the end of the earth so yes I'm very proud."
Both candidates sit third in their respective electorates, though Keith Pitt (NAT) and Llew O'Brien (LIB) are expected to win Hinkler and Wide Bay respectively.