Mark Latham is set to secure an eight-year term in New South Wales’ Upper House under the banner of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation after the votes are counted.
Fourteen years after his bone-crushing handshake with John Howard at the 2004 federal election and his exit from politics, he is likely to secure a new career in state politics and emerge as a key deal maker on legislation.
The quota for securing a seat in the Upper House is just 4.55 per cent of the primary vote, and with One Nation polling at 6 per cent, he’s expected to win his new parliamentary seat in a canter.
He is standing on a policy platform pledged to lower immigration and end political correctness in schools.
“This is a fight for our civilisational values, for free speech, for merit selection, resilience, love of country, all of it under siege from the left,” he said when announcing his candidacy last year.
While some have questioned his alliance with Ms Hanson as a “political marriage made in hell” the pair appear to be getting along – for now. There are plenty of predictions it’s inevitable they will fall out at some point. If they do, Mr Latham will remain in Parliament regardless.
NSW One Nation policy defending selective schools and rejecting Daley-style attacks on the Asian cultural virtue of pushing their kids hard at school to get them into PhDs, good jobs, great working careers:https://t.co/wH5Zrkrr97
— Real Mark Latham (@RealMarkLatham) 18 March 2019
Despite campaigning for reform of federal parliamentary pensions, Mr Latham secured a pension for life when he quit politics at the age of just 43 in January 2005.
That appears to have remained his most steady source of income with the former Labor leader also securing work as a media commentator for Channel 7, Sky News and The Australian Financial Review.
Since his exit from politics he has re-emerged as an agent provocateur in the media penning The Latham Diaries for Melbourne University Press, where he slammed his colleagues and raged against the Labor Party as “control freaks and power junkies”.
In 2015, after he was sacked by The Australian Financial Review, he was involved in a foul-mouthed rant at the Melbourne’s Writers’s Festival, where he attacked ABC journalist Jonathan Green, as an “ABC wanker”, a “bigot” and a “deviant”.
He was also sacked by Sky News in 2017 after controversies with fellow presenters, including Kristina Keneally and Peter van Onselen, and comments about radio host Wendy Harmer, but he quickly returned as a commentator and contributor on Sky’s Paul Murray Live, where he remains a regular guest.
Sky was forced to issue a grovelling apology after Mr Latham called Ms Harmer a “female with a disability” in 2017 and “a proven commercial failure”.
Ms Harmer has spoken in the past about the fact she was born with a cleft lip and was forced to undergo multiple surgeries as a child.
“Now Wendy, of course, we know her well. She’s a proven commercial failure, so naturally she got a job at ABC radio at the sheltered workshop there for all the lefties. She fits the criteria: she’s female, she’s got a disability — that’s what they mean by diversity,” Mr Latham said.
“So we say to Wendy Harmer on this Sunday morning: get a life, love.”