Pauline Hanson
Pauline Hanson speaks during a news conference in Sydney, February 19, 2003. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is asking the public to cast their vote in a Facebook poll on whether a convicted criminal should be allowed to run as a candidate in the upcoming WA state election.

Brian Brightman, a former customs officer, is seeking candidacy in the upcoming state election for the seat of Joondalup. He was charged with and, as a result, convicted for stealing departure tax stamps and selling them to Australia Post in 1993. He was penalised with a fine of more than $1,000.

Speaking with Sky News, Hanson said she would consider Brightman a candidate. “Who of us have not made mistakes in the past, and he's paid the punishment for it, and I think we need to move on and I'd like to give him a go,” she said. “But I'd like to know how the public feel about it as well. Are the people of Joondalup ready to give him a go?” She is asking people to vote in a Facebook poll whether Brightman should be selected as a candidate.

Several people have come in support for Brightman, saying an indiscretion of the past should not affect his future. “While I may or may not agree with the gentleman’s politics, I think what he has opted to do here shows he engages with a democracy, and also has the guts to front up,” one commenter said.

Brightman said he committed the offence because of “financial difficulty” and subsequently took an easy way out. “I’d taken out an interest loan on my house and the interests rates started to rise so I was very short of money,” he said. “And I took what I thought was the easy way out.”

Stealing offences can carry a maximum penalty of seven years of imprisonment. A person with a previous conviction, which carried a penalty of imprisonment of more than five years, cannot be eligible to run for election in WA.

Meanwhile, One Nation will be running for 45 of the state's 59 Lower House seats. In addition, the party will also be running candidates in each Upper House region. It recently released a list that details its 27 Legislative Assembly candidates along with 13 Legislative Council candidates. Hanson has said that her party could bag six seats in the March 11 election.

According to Reach-TEL poll, published by The West Australian, One Nation could acquire as many as 11 percent of the primary vote across WA.