One Nation and Shooters to rock NSW election
SECRET talks are under way between One Nation and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers to form an alliance and possible preference swaps as new polling shows Pauline Hanson's party shaping as a powerful political force in next year's state election.
The polling shows Pauline Hanson's One Nation rapidly overtaking the SFF party as the new home of the NSW regional protest vote.
The figures, compiled for the Nationals and obtained by The Daily Telegraph, show One Nation recording a stronger first-preference vote than the SFF party across 13 of 16 regional seats.
Ms Hanson told The Daily Telegraph that she will be launching a team in November for the lower and upper houses in the NSW election.
"I know people are dissatisfied with (Premier Gladys) Berejiklian, the Liberal Party, the Labor Party, and I don't think they have a lot of confidence in Luke Foley," Ms Hanson said.
A preference swap or alliance - both under consideration - could see either One Nation or the SFF claim at least one extra seat in the upper house. It would also help both parties in the lower house, where a hung parliament is a real possibility.
"We are very closely aligned in a lot of policy areas and we work together in Western Australia," Ms Hanson said. "I'd rather work with small parties instead of working against each other.
"Parties that are like-minded in their policies and views must work together."
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers upper house MP Robert Borsak travelled to Canberra last month to meet with Ms Hanson and her key adviser James Ashby.
They discussed possible ways of working together, including preference deals.
Ms Hanson hinted that she was willing to stay out of seats where the SFF was strong as part of the alliance: "I'm not going to be their opposition. The major political parties are our opposition."
The polling shows One Nation is strongest on primary votes in the Northern Tablelands, where it polls 12 per cent compared with 3 per cent for SFF. In Barwon, One Nation polls at 11 per cent and SFF trails on 9.
One Nation also secured 10 per cent of primary support in Bathurst, Myall Lakes and Lismore - ahead of the SFF in all those seats.
However SFF is favoured more than One Nation in Cootamundra and Murray, two seats that the Nats nearly lost in by-elections last year.
SFF is also just ahead of One Nation in Coffs Harbour, the seat from which Nationals MP Andrew Fraser is retiring.
The polling was conducted for The Nationals incrementally since April, by pollsters Telereach and CMS.
While Ms Hanson's party is gearing up for next year's NSW poll battle, Clive Palmer's United Australia Party said it had no plans to contest seats at the state election.