Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation: Extreme Right, Centre Party or Extreme Left?

Labour History: A Journal of Labour and Social History (2005), 89, (1), 101–119.

Abstract

To what extent do writings about Pauline Hanson or One Nation construct her or her party as a phenomenon of the Right, the Centre or the Left? To what sorts of values — Left or Right — did her major speeches mostly appeal? And where did electors, both those who voted for One Nation and those who did not, place the party ideologically? This article shows how Hanson’s politics were frequently characterised as a politics of the Right, though what sort of Right — extreme Right, populist Right, plain Right, and so on — was a matter on which there was no agreement. It demonstrates that while her maiden speech in 1996 and the speech she gave to launch her party in 1997 focused on issues of race and ethnicity — Aborigines, migrants, and multiculturalism — in ways that have come to be associated with the Right, the speech she gave to launch her party’s 1998 federal election campaign focused on jobs, an issue more often associated with the Left. The study also uses survey evidence to show that while One Nation was less likely than the Liberal or National Party to be seen as a party of the Right, respondents were more likely to see One Nation as a party of the extreme Right. Yet more than any other party, including the Greens, One Nation was also seen as a party of the extreme Left. The least commonly held view — except by One Nation respondents — was that One Nation was a party of the Centre.

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Author details

Goot, Murray

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