News Australasia

Friday 9 December 2016

Australian poll throws up a shock comeback

Jonathan Pearlman

Published 04/07/2016 | 02:30

Australian politician and leader of the One Nation Party Pauline Hanson holds an election placard as she stands with supporters during a function on election night in the city of Ipswich, west of Brisbane, Australia. AAP/Dan Peled/REUTERS
Australian politician and leader of the One Nation Party Pauline Hanson holds an election placard as she stands with supporters during a function on election night in the city of Ipswich, west of Brisbane, Australia. AAP/Dan Peled/REUTERS

Australia's shock election result - with a hung parliament the most likely outcome - has left Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's future in tatters and delivered an extra surprise: the political comeback of Pauline Hanson, an anti-migrant and anti-Muslim firebrand.

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As counting was due to resume today, Ms Hanson, who caused a storm in Australia and abroad over her attacks on Asian immigration as an MP in the Nineties, was preparing to make a return to parliament 20 years after she was first elected.

Switching her focus in recent years from attacking Asian migrants to condemning Muslims, she campaigned on plans to limit halal certification, restrict overall immigration and hold a "royal commission into Islam".

Infamous for her claim in her maiden speech in 1996 that Australia was in danger of being "swamped by Asians", she said during this campaign that "we're in danger of being swamped by Muslims".

"If you're going to bury your head in the sand about it, you're a fool," said the 62-year-old, who won a senate seat in her home state of Queensland.

Mr Turnbull faces recriminations over the ruling conservative coalition's dismal election performance. The former investment banker had been expected to win the election easily. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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