Senate race heats up as minor parties, independents wrestle over who might hold balance of power

As Australians head to the polls, some high-profile senators, including One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson and Liberal Eric Abetz, are in the fight for their political lives.

The makeup of the Senate can have a big impact on a government’s ability to get its agenda through.

For the past three years, the Coalition has been three seats short of a majority, relying heavily on the crossbench, particularly the two One Nation senators, to pass legislation.

In Queensland, Pauline Hanson is up for re-election against a bevy of right-wing candidates, including Clive Palmer and former Premier Campbell Newman.

Election analyst Dr Kevin Bonham said Ms Hanson is likely to regain her seat, with the third spot Liberal National Partly (LNP) candidate, Amanda Stoker, the most likely to miss out.

“If there’s a seat lost on the right, I think it’s more likely the LNP seat at this stage,” Dr Bonham said.

“But we don’t know, One Nation is bit of an unknown quantity.”

Dr Bonham does not believe Clive Palmer nor Campbell Newman will have much of an impact.

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