Here is a package of sealed section material that was sent to subscribers this week.
By our man in the Canberra press gallery Hugo Kelly
Well, it’s clear: Pauline Hanson has rocks in her head. The Great Red Hope declared these were the only circumstances under which she’d enter politics again.
Lo and behold, she’s told Andrew Denton that she wants another crack at the Senate and it’s big news as you can see from this Bloomberg report.
It’s just the kind of spice this dreary campaign needed. And, won’t it do wonders for our international image? The world meeja have not forgotten about her nasty little turn in the national spotlight and are sure to pick up on her nomination quicksmart. For instance, try this BBC report.
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Standing as an independent for the Queensland Senate, it looks like she’s gunning for her former comrade in arms – ex-One Nation Senator Len Harris.
Bring on the rednecks!
Hanson was very confrontational in her interview with David Spears on the Sky News election show so she’s obviously not planning a get tough strategy with the media as they inevitably try to draw her out on policies and beliefs.
She’s shown all her political skills – announcing that she’s running for the Senate on a program to be broadcast next Monday when nominations close 12 noon this Thursday – but Pauline Hanson’s decision to enter the Queensland Senate race makes what is already shaping up as a fascinating election even more interesting.
We ran through some Senate outcomes earlier in the week in the Sealed Section, and while the polls concentrate on Reps, pundits are picking that the Coalition could well hold 38 places in the Upper House – spot of 50 per cent – after the poll.
Hanson is running from Queensland. There, the battle for the final Senate place is expected to be fought out between the Australian Democrats John Cherry, Green Drew Hutton, new God-bothers on the block Family First, Vote For Me orphan and child abuse Torquemada Hetty Johnson and Hanson’s own former standard bearer, Len Harris (although no-one gave him much of a chance).
One Nation might be a rabble, but does the Hanson name still work its old magic with the redneck brigade (we won’t bother their heads by using a word like “cachet”).
Hanson couldn’t get over the line when she made her odd little bid at the New South Wales Legislative Council last year. She couldn’t even get elected for Blair at the height of her influence back in 1998.
The Senate in Queensland, however, is different. Her old supporters are still there. The Dems, the Greens and the ALP will all preference away from her. Together, their vote might let Labor get three Senators. The Libs and Nats could face problems – with preferences and with that last Senate spot going Hanson’s way.
Andrew Denton has given Enough Rope to the Red One, Pauline Hanson, and she has obliged by revealing she will be running for the Senate in Queensland as an independent at the October 9 poll.
And her co-conspirator and co-releasee, David Ettridge, told Sydney’s ABC radio station, 702, that he’s also standing, and claims people will see him and her as “underdogs”.
Denton recorded his interview today with the Dancing Pauline who is down in Sydney for a spot on a new Seven Network light entertainment ballroom dancing show to be fronted by Daryl Somers. Paul Keating would no doubt call this “switching to vaudeville”.
The program recorded today is for next Monday night but news broke on 702 with Drive host Richard Glover revealing the news, speaking to Denton and Ettridge.
Denton said on ABC radio that Hanson didn’t seem to be looking for a sympathy vote. Denton made it clear that Hansen remained “incredibly naive”, not being able to remember who had been her health spokesman in One Nation.
He also said she “seemed to have no recollection” of many of the things she said in the past, some of them controversial. Sounds a bit like Alan Bond – another recent Denton guest.
It will be interesting to see how she rates next Monday as Denton was down a bit last week with only 1.1 million tuning in.
Henry Thornton welcomes the return of Pauline Hanson, who creates, in Henry’s opinion, a real market opportunity. Henry also celebrates President Bush’s apparent lead in the opinion polls and asks what Iron Mark would have done different on the probably fake “Aussie hostage crisis”: http://www.henrythornton.com/article.asp?article_id=2799
Election betting agency Centrebet is offering long odds on Pauline Hanson winning a Senate seat.
Centrebet is taking bets at $6.00 that Hanson secures a seat in the upper house next month – a far cry, the bookmaker says, from the 2001 election when they had the controversial politician at $2.00.
Meanwhile, Centrebet now puts Labor leader Mark Latham on $3.00, compared to $1.33 for the Coalition.
And at the same time the agency is hawking “independent evidence to support Centrebet’s claim that its odds are more accurate than opinion polls”.
“Stanford University’s Justin Wolfers and Andrew Leigh, of Harvard, found that its odds on the Australian vote of 2001 not only correctly forecast the overall result but provided precise estimates of outcomes in dozens of individual electorates across the large country,” Centrebet says in a media release.
“Wolfers, now working out of the University of Pennsylvania, and Leigh concluded that Australian political journalists should have published more betting stories and fewer opinion polls.”
Meanwhile, as we’ve plugged the bookies we’d better give Margo Kingston’s Webdiary election tipping site a mention, too. It’s at http://webdiary.smh.com.au/archives/margo_kingston/000239.html
And Pauline has just had interesting chat with Ray on A Current Affair, outlining her opposition to the full sale of Telstra amongst other “policies”. Ray wound up the chat by asking what she thought of the 6-1 odds being offered by Centrebet on her getting a Senate seat, to which Hanson replied,”That’s not too bad, actually” – though Ray speculated that Hanson “isn’t much of punter”.
Pauline’s poll possibilities
Who will the winners be from Pauline Hanson’s decision to run for the Senate (other than weary journos desperate for an election story, of course)?
There’s quite a bit of debate out there in wonksville.
“The beneficiaries of Pauline will be the Nats and Democrats,” declares sometime Queensland Liberal heavy Graham Young at Online Opinion.
“Pauline Hanson won’t win a senate seat, but her candidacy should put the National Party over the line in Queensland and enhance the chances of the Democrats of retaining theirs.”
The Poll Bludger, William Bowe, has an interesting take on his site, too:
“Most pundits were quick to dismiss Pauline Hanson’s chances when she announced her bid for a Queensland Senate seat on Wednesday, on the eminently reasonable grounds that she failed at the same endeavour in 2001. John Wanna, professor of Politics and Public Administration at Griffith University and the Australian National University, was almost a lone voice in suggesting otherwise in The Australian yesterday…
“The Poll Bludger would normally defer to the superior wisdom of Wanna, but he believes he can see a few things wrong with this. Firstly, in writing off the Greens and Democrats and including Joyce as one of those fighting it out for the final position, Wanna is predicting that either Labor or Liberal will win three of the other five seats. If he means the latter, he is raising the prospect of the Coalition winning four out of six, a wholly unprecedented achievement. If he means the former, he is predicting a significantly different outcome from 2001, when Labor won only two seats with a mere 31.8 per cent of the vote.
“Secondly, Labor may not be allocating preferences to the Greens ahead of the Democrats, but they will surely put them ahead of the other listed contenders. Since it is then argued that the Democrats will do so poorly they will face an early elimination, those Labor preferences will still end up flowing on to the Greens. It also appears certain that the Coalition parties will place the Greens ahead of Hanson and Len Harris, the only other contenders Wanna mentions. The only beneficiary of any Coalition surplus would be the dark horse of the race, independent Hetty Johnston.”
More at http://www.pollbludger.com
We’ve packaged up all our recent election snippets into an entertaining wrap here: http://www.crikey.com.au/politics/2004/09/07-0004.html