One Nation leader Pauline Hanson meets locals in Clermont. Picture: Getty Images
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson meets locals in Clermont. Picture: Getty Images

Hanson throws Coalition a lifeline

PAULINE Hanson has unexpectedly thrown Scott Morrison a political lifeline by using her preferences to potentially save key conservative ministers and MPs.

In a shock move, the One Nation leader will today declare she will put "Australia first" by putting Labor MPs last on her how-to-vote cards in four key seats, helping sandbag Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Attorney-General Christian Porter, Member for Petrie Luke Howarth and former SAS soldier Andrew Hastie in Canning in WA.

Her political intervention is good news for the Morrison Government and comes on top of the preference deal done between the Coalition and Clive Palmer.

In 2016, One Nation placed sitting MPs last, which hurt the Coalition and contributed to the LNP losing Herbert and Longman. However, she did not field candidates in some Queensland seats, including Dickson, Forde, Herbert and Capricornia.

In most of the 59 seats One Nation will contest it will run split tickets, except for those four Liberal MPs and if the incumbent is a Nationals MP.

A split ticket means there will be a double-sided how-to-vote cards showing voters how to preference if they are Labor or Coalition leaning.

Mr Morrison declared One Nation candidates would be placed behind Labor on its how-to-vote cards after the National Rifle Association scandal in the US.

Senator Hanson told The Courier-Mail yesterday that voters owned their own preferences but she wanted them to make an informed decision on May 18, especially about MPs who had worked constructively with One Nation.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson meets locals in Clermont. Picture: Getty
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson meets locals in Clermont. Picture: Getty

For Mr Dutton (margin of 1.7 per cent), Mr Howarth (1.7 per cent), Mr Porter (3.7 per cent) and Mr Hastie (6.8 per cent), it maximises their chances of being ahead of Labor in the final count.

However, by putting the LNP above Labor, it also helps Nationals MPs Michelle Landry, Member for Dawson MP George Christensen and up-against-it Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd.

Mr Howarth will be No.2 on a six-candidate ticket, Mr Dutton No.3 on an eight-candidate ticket, Mr Hastie No.4 on an eight-candidate ticket and Mr Porter No.7 on a 10-candidate ticket.

"Luke Howarth might be a backbencher, but I'm well aware that he called out Scott Morrison's decision to preference Labor ahead of One Nation across the country and advocated for the Liberals to reconsider his party's decision,'' she said.

"Peter Dutton has been one of the toughest ministers on border security and has worked constructively behind the scenes with my office on matters of national security. If I've ever had questions relating to terrorism or immigration, he's made himself or staff available for those discussions which have been greatly appreciated.

"Christian Porter and I haven't always agreed on policy, but he has continued to work with me on family law reform which is grossly under-represented in our Parliament and is causing three men to suicide a day and one woman being murdered a week."

In an election exclusive, The Courier-Mail can reveal One Nation will run 29 candidates in Queensland's 30 seats.

The party will not compete with Bob Katter in Kennedy and they will swap direct preferences to maximise their chances in Central Queensland. One Nation is confident of doing well in Flynn and Capricornia.

"Bill Shorten and Labor have made it very clear that the majority of their elected members want to shut down of our coal industry in Queensland and New South Wales which will leave tens of thousands of workers out of jobs and I won't support him on that decision."

"I've met with Bill Shorten enough in my past three years to know I don't trust the man."