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Lawrence Springborg deflects criticism from P -

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Reporter: Annie Guest

TANYA NOLAN: The voters will decide tomorrow who's fit to lead Queensland, but the Prime Minister
shared his thoughts on the matter this morning.

Kevin Rudd says the Liberal National Party leader Lawrence Springborg is not capable of being
Premier.

One political analyst says it's an unusually negative attack on a political leader from a Prime
Minister.

And Kevin Rudd may find himself having to work closely with Mr Springborg, if the polls are any
signal. A fourth poll now shows the Labor Government in trouble.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: If the intensity of Kevin Rudd's attack on Queensland's Opposition Leader is anything
to go by, Labor is feeling the pressure of this election from the Sunshine State to Canberra. This
is what the Prime Minister had to say on AM this morning about the man he observed during his time
working for Queensland's Goss government.

KEVIN RUDD: What you need is competent leadership. And when I look at Lawrence Springborg, someone
I have looked at carefully over 20 years when I worked in the Queensland government, what I see is
a person who's simply not up to the job. That's not a party-political comment.

ANNIE GUEST: Kevin Rudd went on to compliment the Liberal Premier of Western Australia.

But it seems a significant number of Queensland voters might disagree with Kevin Rudd's assessment
of the LNP leader. The latest poll shows the Liberal National Party leading Labor 51 per cent to 49
on a two-party preferred basis. It confirms three other recent polls and also shows increased
support in the key Brisbane region.

The Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg says Kevin Rudd and Labor are throwing everything at him.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: This has been an interesting campaign for me. Not only have I had to campaign
against Anna Bligh; it's also been the Prime Minister and Barack Obama as well. So I seem to have
everyone out there being used against me by the Labor Party.

ANNIE GUEST: And this morning's comments by the Prime Minister have been described as unusually
strong by the political lecturer Dr Paul Williams from Griffith University.

PAUL WILLIAMS: It probably is slightly more negative than we've seen in a federal lead actor, in
terms of the Prime Minister coming out against a state leader, than any time I've seen in recent
times. And again, it might sort of indicate the fact that State Labor is very worried about what is
going to happen.

ANNIE GUEST: And is the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also concerned about the strong swing to Federal
Labor at the last election and any potential loss of support?

PAUL WILLIAMS: I think it's inevitable that there will be some loss of support any time that the
next federal election is due.

ANNIE GUEST: But what about the notion of people voting differently at federal and state levels?

PAUL WILLIAMS: I don't think Mr Rudd is really terribly concerned about a big swing against State
Labor will automatically mean a big swing against Federal Labor. But of course, you know it's
always a bad look when one of your state compatriots loses office.

ANNIE GUEST: The polls may be causing anxiety for Labor but they're also showing voters are
generally not greatly impressed with the performance of either leader during the campaign.

'The Battle of the Bores' is how one newspaper described it. There's been some zany singing and
dancing on commercial radio, but mostly it's been a sombre, tightly scripted affair.

That was evident this morning when AM's Tony Eastley asked the Premier about the possibility of
becoming Australia's first female leader elected in her own right.

TONY EASTLEY: If I can take you off message for a moment and just get you just to give me a bit of
a personal reflection on this. You would be, no doubt, a little bit proud if you were to win?

ANNA BLIGH: I go into this election very conscious of the history that might be made tomorrow. You
know, it's only 100 years since women got the vote and to have the opportunity to be elected as
Premier would be a great honour.

ANNIE GUEST: Academic Dr Paul Williams says both leaders have appeared wooden.

PAUL WILLIAMS: But you know, by state campaign standards there hasn't been much colour and movement
and it's been a very serious, sober campaign. And I suspect it's reflecting the grim reality of
huge job losses that have already occurred in Queensland, particularly in the mining industry, and
more job losses yet to come.

ANNIE GUEST: Indeed both parties have campaigned heavily on the economy. Anna Bligh continues to
reinforce Labor's central platform of generating jobs through taking the state into debt to fund
infrastructure, while Lawrence Springborg is reinforcing his merged party's argument that Labor has
squandered the profits from the good years. He's promising to generate projects and jobs through
savings from a three per cent cut across Government.

TANYA NOLAN: Annie Guest in Brisbane.