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Qld: Labor, LNP set for photo-finish in Qld poll

21 Mar 2009 2:29 AM

BRISBANE, March 21 AAP - Queensland voters are set to make history when the polls open at 8am (AEST) on Saturday.

The latest opinion poll, a Newspoll to be published in The Australian on Saturday morning, shows Labor and the Liberal National Party (LNP) locked on 50 per cent of the vote, after the distribution of preferences.

A win for Ms Bligh would be Labor's fifth in a row, and LNP leader Lawrence Springborg's third straight loss.

However, Labor and the LNP may need the help of independents to govern - for the third time in 13 years - if a close vote results in a hung parliament.

The LNP needs a swing of almost eight per cent to gain the 20 seats to secure a majority in the 89-seat parliament.

But Ms Bligh's team only needs to lose 14 to hand over power to Mr Springborg.

Ms Bligh says she's always expected the election to go down to the wire.

Mr Springborg says he believes voters have warmed to the merged conservative party and want an end to what he calls Labor's 11 wasted years in power.

The election was called six months early after Ms Bligh said the state needed stability and certainty to see Queensland through the economic downturn.

Labor has promised to create 100,000 jobs over the next term, and has urged a vote against the LNP over its plan to cut $1 billion a year from the public service.

The LNP has accused Labor of wasting money during the mining boom and sending the state $74 billion into debt, without a plan to put the budget back in surplus.

One Nation founder Pauline Hanson, who is running as an independent in Beaudesert, says it will be her last political tilt if she loses.