SYDNEY • The party of right-winger Pauline Hanson, who once claimed Australia was in danger of being swamped by Asians, has won four seats in the Upper House, setting it up as a political kingmaker.
The conservative government returned to power last month, but faces a tough term ahead working with the firebrand's One Nation party and other crossbenchers - independents or lawmakers from minor parties. Counting for the Upper House Senate was completed yesterday, with the crossbench blown out to 11 from eight previously.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called the polls to get rid of hostile lawmakers from smaller parties, must now work with even more of them to push through legislation.
Ms Hanson's wishlist includes zero net migration. She is also against foreign ownership of Australian agricultural land. One of her senators, Mr Malcolm Roberts, yesterday reiterated his doubts about man-made climate change.
Her party's rising influence comes as voters opted for change, disillusioned with the ruling conservatives and Labor opposition.
Making up the rest of the 76-seat Senate is the ruling Liberal-National coalition with 30 seats, the main opposition Labor party with 26, and the Greens with nine.