One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is off on an international holiday despite the looming Longman by-election. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is off on an international holiday despite the looming Longman by-election. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Hanson opts for escape ahead of Longman by-election

PAULINE Hanson has taken a holiday in the UK just days before the Longman by-election where her party's vote could prove decisive.

Despite telling voters they would "see my smiling face on election day in Longman", the One Nation leader confirmed to The Courier-Mail she would only be involved in the campaign from afar.

Senator Hanson said she had booked the holiday with her partner and members of her family in February and would not be back before the by-election on Saturday.

She said she was "exhausted" by her work and family commitments, which included helping her ill daughter, but she was still involved in the Longman campaign from afar.

"I needed this break. I was worn out," she said.

Her comments came after she publicly described reports she had stepped away from the campaign due to exhaustion as "fake news".

Senator Hanson's departure comes as One Nation's vote in the seat on Brisbane's northern fringe appears to have almost doubled from the last election and could sway the result.

A YouGov Galaxy poll published in The Courier-Mail found One Nation's vote was 18 per cent, up from 9.4 per cent in 2016.

Labor's Susan Lamb relied on One Nation preferences to win the seat in 2016.

But One Nation is now directing its supporters to preference the Liberal National Party ahead of Labor and the Greens.

Senator Hanson said she was keeping a close eye on the by-election campaign from the other side of the world.

One Nation's Longman candidate Matthew Stephen said he hoped Senator Hanson would be able to rejoin him on the ground.

"I hope so. If I can get her time, she's a busy woman," Mr Stephen said.

"She was here for a whole week and no one wanted to know about it, she has a couple of days off and it's front page news."



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