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Opinion poll predicts Labor win in Queensland -

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Opinion poll predicts Labor win in Queensland election

The World Today - Tuesday, 24 February , 2009 12:26:00

Reporter: James Kelly

ELEANOR HALL: The first opinion poll on the Queensland election suggests that the Premier Anna
Bligh and her Labor party will win by a big margin.

But the newly amalgamated LNP Opposition is closing the gap. The Newspoll in today's Australian
newspaper puts Labor just six points ahead of the LNP.

As James Kelly reports from Brisbane.

JAMES KELLY: Day two of the Queensland election campaign and both the Premier and the leader of the
Opposition hit the radio airwaves this morning.

Anna Bligh has been premier for just 17 months after she was handed the job from a retiring Peter
Beattie.

She says she called the election six months early to secure a mandate to steer the state through
the toughest of economic times.

ANNA BLIGH: Things are likely to get worse before they get better over the next 12 months, not just
in Queensland but around the country.

In those circumstances I think Queenslanders have the right to decide who should lead them through
the global financial crisis. Whether they want a team that has experience, a team that's got runs
on the board and a team that believes in building big projects right across Queensland, or an
inexperienced team with a lot of novices who have already said they'll cut projects

JAMES KELLY: It's the third attempt at the top job for Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg.

He admits winning an extra 22 seats is an uphill battle, but says the Government has a poor record.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: We're not stopping any projects. Tim Nicholls, our Shadow Treasurer, outlined
clearly the other day that this government has blown project costs out by $9-billion in the last
four years because it hasn't costed, hasn't managed. That's Labor's way, and if we'd actually had
that $9-billion which was wasted, we'd have a surplus today and a triple-A rating.

JAMES KELLY: Today's Newspoll published in The Australian newspaper has Anna Bligh's Labor
Government on 53 points to the LNP's 47 on a two-party preferred basis.

Last September, Western Australia's Labor Government called an election six months early and was
ahead in the polls but lost to the Liberals.

Anna Bligh again.

ANNA BLIGH: Clearly I'll be working very hard to hold all of the seats that we currently have, but
I think it will be a knife-edge election

JAMES KELLY: That six-point margin would easily return Labor to power, but Lawrence Springborg says
there is some positive news in the latest figures.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: This poll is up four points on the last one taken before Christmas. We have
closed the gap.

JAMES KELLY: In the better Premier stakes, though, Mr Springborg still trails Anna Bligh 48 points
to 31.

Many political analysts say the poll is a true reflection of the outcome of the election.

Scott Prasser is from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

SCOTT PRASSER: I believe the Labor Party has a very good chance of holding on in Queensland.
There's a number of factors driving that - experience, they're not a government that's made a lot
of mistake in recent times and Anna Bligh is showing reasonable performance as the new Premier and
leading the state.

JAMES KELLY: She's only been in the job 17 months. Is that long enough to convince voters that they
should give her another go?

SCOTT PRASSER: Yes, I think it is and I think what's helped her a bit are the disasters we've had
in Queensland with storms and floods where Anna's shown all those sort of typical premiership-type
qualities of being out there and meeting these people.

JAMES KELLY: How difficult will it be for the LNP to win those 22 seats and therefore the
Government?

SCOTT PRASSER: Look, I think extremely difficult. The real issue is the battle there's going to be
in the Brisbane, south-east Queensland area and this is where the LNP is at their weakest. They
hold only two seats in Brisbane.

JAMES KELLY: What impact do you think the amalgamation of the Liberal and National Parties into the
LNP, what impact will that have on the election, do you think?

SCOTT PRASSER: Well, I think one thing it's done is remove the squabbles or the potential for
dissention and mistakes that we had in the last election of who was going to lead the party.

JAMES KELLY: Anna Bligh rarely trips up, rarely makes mistakes. Could she stumble in this campaign?

SCOTT PRASSER: There's always that potential, but I think that she's matured as a performer. I
think where she is on shaky ground is the very issue she's called the election on, economic
management.

JAMES KELLY: So a Labor win?

SCOTT PRASSER: I believe a Labor win.

ELEANOR HALL: Scott Prasser is from the University of the Sunshine Coast ending that report from
James Kelly.