We have discussed One Nation here from time to time especially in comments. I would like to come back to some of those points later. For the present, the analysis set out provides by far the best snap shot of the attitudes of One Nation voters that we have so far seen. Political scientist Ian McAllister cautions that care must be exercised in interpreting the results because the small number of One Nation voter risks statistical error. That is fair enough, but the results do at least provide a framework, a hypothesis, for future review.
University of New England economic historian R S (Ron) Neale spoke of a middling class. This is an unstable group included in the middle or lower middle class but distinct from them. Ron spoke of them in this way:
... petit bourgeois, aspiring professional men, other literates and artisans. Individuated or privatized like the middle class but collectively less deferential and more concerned to remove the privileges and authority of the upper class in which, without radical changes, they cannot realistically hope to shareExplaining why he rejected the idea of a two class society, the Country Party politician David Drummond wrote that he refused:
to accept the doctrine that society was divided into 2 classes & 2 only. I knew that in between there was a middle class of decent law abiding people, farmers, graziers, small shopkeepers, & to a certain extent professional men. They were either self employed or small employers but largely consisted of people who valued their independence and sought by hard work to build a secure place in society they could sustain .. To the solid core of the "middle class" the unprincipled exploiting greed of employers was as loathsome as the destructive ill-balanced doctrines of extreme unionism.Drummond used the term middle class, but the attributes he attached better reflect Neale's idea of a middling class.
The distinctive features of the middling class are, I think, a degree of alienation from existing power and social structures combined with a a feeling of insecurity. Through hard work, they have established a degree of security and prosperity, but they feel that this is insecure, likely to be taken away. The middling class are worriers.
Drummond was writing in 1965 explaining the views that he had formed as a young man so many decades before. Despite the passage of time, I think that the idea of the middling class is still by far the best way of understanding just what drives One Nation.