Saturday, October 3, 1998 Published at 22:13 GMT 23:13 UK
Not one seat for One Nation
Pauline Hanson's party failed to gain a single seat
[an error occurred while processing this directive] Australia's right-wing One Nation party, led by Pauline Hanson, has failed to gain a single seat in the elections to the House of Representatives.
Mrs Hanson and her party emerged as a serious political force in June, taking 23% of the vote in the Queensland state elections. There was even talk that One Nation could end up holding the balance of power in a hung parliament.
Instead, voters in Saturday's election rejected every one of the party's 160 candidates - including Mrs Hanson herself.
A dejected Pauline Hanson ordered reporters out of her office in Queensland when she heard the news.
"One Nation is not going to fade away," she said later. "We have woken a lot of Australians, informing them of what is actually happening in Australia."
Our correspondent in Sydney, Red Harrison, suggests that towards the end of the campaign, voters discovered that Pauline Hanson had no concrete policies. "What she has is a bag full of complaints and whinges, of simplistic and often very nasty complaints but no solutions for any of the problems she raises," he said.
Recently Mrs Hanson proposed an overall flat taxation for Australia, which economists dismissed as if "it might have come from the flat earth society".
She tapped into the fears of conservative white Australians faced with 8% unemployment.
Before founding One Nation, Mrs Hanson was elected to the federal parliament two years ago as an independent candidate, and leapt into headlines with a sensational maiden speech.
Australia, she said, was in danger of being swamped by Asians, and she denounced the inequality of giving welfare money to Aborigines that was not available to other Australians.
Bureaucrats, fat cats, do-gooders, big business, foreign investors and the United Nations received a tongue-lashing, too.
Campaigning in the Queensland state elections, Mrs Hanson said that Asian immigrants were bringing disease and crime into Australia and that immigration should be halted until all Australians had a job.