That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:
The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.
People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:
there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.
Michelle Grattan makes the case that the WA preference deal, (putting One Nation ahead of the Nationals in the upper house regional seats in return for One Nation preferencing against Labor in the lower house, which they probably would have done any way), has ‘normalised’ Pauline Hanson in the Liberal firmament.
The question now is whether One Nation has matured, whether the Liberal Party has moved towards them politically, and whether ON is actually working in the interests of the battlers Pauline Hanson claims to represent.