Despite speculation, One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson’s sister is not necessarily on track to join her sibling in the Upper House, according to the ABC’s electoral expert Antony Green.
The chance of Judy Smith entering the Senate has arisen because there is doubt over whether One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts was a dual citizen when he nominated last year.
Two Greens senators have already quit because of dual citizenship — and they will be replaced by countback by the next Greens candidate on the ticket.
It means Greens member Jordon Steele-John, who is in his early 20s and was next on the party’s ticket in Western Australia, will make a much earlier start to his parliamentary career than was expected.
The fallout from the citizenship confusion could continue if Senator Roberts’ case is referred to the High Court and is ruled to have been ineligible.
A countback would then mean the next One Nation candidate Fraser Anning would be elected instead.
But there are bankruptcy proceedings against Mr Anning, which prompted the talk that Ms Smith, who is the next candidate on the ticket, would be chosen.
But today Green said Mr Anning was eligible to stand at the last election, meaning there would not be an automatic countback to the next candidate — Ms Smith.
“The problem with this story is that if Mr Anning were declared bankrupt, the declaration would not be retrospective,” he wrote.
“He would still have been eligible to be a candidate at last year’s election, and by the re-count procedure he would be validly electd in place of Senator Roberts.
“If bankrupt, then once elected Mr Anning would become ineligible. On that basis his replacement would be filled as casual vacancy under Section 15 of the Constitution, not by another re-count.
“Under Section 15, the Senate would notify the Queensland Governor that a Senate vacancy exists. The Queensland Parliament would then fill the vacancy, with the proviso that the replacement must be approved by One Nation.”
And that could mean … that Malcolm Roberts effectively replaces himself on the red benches.
“Anning’s replacement could be any One Nation member. It could even be Malcolm Roberts now that his citizenship has been resolved,” Green wrote.
A countback would mean Fraser Anning — the third candidate — would be elected.
(Supplied: Antony Green)