Anti-immigration Pauline Hanson on cusp of Australia election return

Pauline Hanson fills out her senate ballot paper as she votes at Jamboree Heights State School in Brisbane, Australia.
Pauline Hanson fills out her senate ballot paper as she votes at Jamboree Heights State School in Brisbane, Australia.PHOTO: EPA

SYDNEY (AFP) - Divisive Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who once claimed Asians were in danger of swamping the country, was Sunday on the cusp of being re-elected to parliament after a near 20-year absence.

She is one of a host of minor party candidates or independents on track to win upper house Senate seats, as voters disillusioned with the ruling conservatives and Labor opposition opted for change.

The final counts are not yet settled but Hanson, who rose to prominence in the 1990s as head of the right-wing, anti-immigration One Nation party she co-founded, is forecast to again be headed to Canberra.

"I have got no problems with anyone - if they have got a problem with me, that's their issue, not mine," she said, adding that the major parties needed to start listening to grassroots Australians.

"I'm the person that's going to come in, like the cleaner, if they don't clean your house properly you get rid of them and you have a clean sweep of the broom."

But Hanson, who wants a halt to Muslim immigration and have a national inquiry into whether Islam is a religion or a political ideology, has already created waves.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said it was "certain" Hanson had made a successful return to the parliament and his party would do all it could to keep her in check.

"The Greens will stand against her racist and bigoted agenda," he said.

"There is no place for bigotry, for the sort of hatred that she is spreading through her views, that have no place in a modern 21st century Australia.

"We will be the opposition to her in the Senate, taking it right up to her and letting her know that we would rather be a country that doesn't pray on people's fears and anxieties but appeals to their better nature."

Hanson, who famously ditched her fish and chip shop to represent Queensland in the national parliament, lost her seat in 1998 and quit as One Nation's leader in 2002.

She announced her return to lead One Nation after a 12-year hiatus in 2014, saying she felt there was no choice given voter disillusionment with other parties.