The One Nation political party was launched on the 11th April 1997 at Ipswich by its founder, Pauline Hanson. After thirteen years of Labor rule, politicians from all major parties had been reduced to a state of abject silence. Political correctness reigned supreme and few would dare to speak out on controversial issues for fear of being abused and attacked by hostile media.
One woman, Pauline Hanson, dared to challenge the entrenched bureaucracy and the vested interests of the political ruling elite by stating the truth as she saw it. Over one million Australians agreed with her, a sufficient number to send the political establishment and their media cohorts into panic mode.
One Nation gained more than 22% of the statewide vote translating to 11 of 89 seats in Queensland’s unicameral legislative assembly at the 1998 state election. Federally, the party peaked at the 1998 election on 9 percent of the nationwide vote, electing one Senator in Queensland.
One Nation became subject to a political campaign by Abbott, who established a trust fund called “Australians for Honest Politics Trust” to help bankroll civil court cases against One Nation and Pauline Hanson. He was also accused of offering funds to One Nation dissident Terry Sharples to support his court battle against the party. Abbott conceded that the political threat One Nation posed to the Howard Government was “a very big factor” in his decision to pursue the legal attack, but he also claimed to be acting “in Australia’s national interest”.
In November 2014, after 13 years away from the party, Pauline Hanson rejoined One Nation as National Chairman and Leader.
In 2016, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation contest the Federal election with 31 Senate and House of Representatives candidates. The party was successful in electing four Senators to Parliament—Pauline Hanson (QLD), Malcolm Roberts (QLD), Rodney Culleton (WA) & Brian Burston (NSW).