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Queensland Election called for 31 January

Premier Campbell Newman today announced an early election, with Queenslanders set to make a judgment on his Government on Saturday, 31 January 2015.

The Liberal National Party (LNP) swept to power in March 2012, winning 78 of the Parliament’s 89 seats.  With a swing of 15.8 per cent, it achieved the largest parliamentary majority in modern Australian political history.

But with 25 days until polling day, the latest published opinion polls shows voters are evenly split between the LNP and Labor. On this basis, the LNP would have to withstand a more than 10 per cent swing against it in order to retain majority government.

The central plank of the LNP’s re-election campaign is a $34 billion privatisation plan, which includes leasing the state-owned electricity network and ports.

Voters now have less than four weeks to decide whether to back Mr Newman and the LNP’s plan for a second term, return power to Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor, or turn to the Palmer United Party or Katter’s Australia Party, which are both expected to campaign strongly. Pauline Hanson has also announced her return to One Nation, and will contest the seat of Lockyer, west of Brisbane, which is currently held by the LNP on a margin of 14.87 per cent.

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