A last desperate appeal for the underdog effect. There was no other credible option I suppose. To say anything other than we can’t win would have left Anna Bligh looking quite ridiculous. Hence her closing message this morning:

“I think in this business it’s important to call a spade a spade and I’m not here to sugar-coat what the polls are telling us.

“There’s no doubt that if they were replicated on Saturday that we would not only see a change in government, but a very emphatic change in government that could in fact see Campbell Newman with a higher percentage of seats that any premier has ever held in Queensland.”

Will such a naked appeal for a sympathy vote have any success at all? Well the entrants in our Crikey election contest think it might. While the opinion polls suggest Labor being reduced to as few as a dozen seats in the 89 seat parliament, our readers are predicting 26 seats for Labor, 56 for the Liberal National Party and seven for independents and minor parties.

The Crikey contest predictions for every individual seat are now posted on The Stump blogsite.

Trying to understand the unpopularity. Even only being reduced to less than a third of MPs in the parliament, let alone anything like that predicted 12, would be a devastating result for Labor. So devastating that an “it’s time” factor would be insufficient to explain it. So what else is involved in Queensland Labor’s unpopularity?

The nearest I can get to an explanation is that the decline in the Labor’s fortunes began quite soon after Anna Bligh won her victory and proceeded to abandon the long standing party policy opposed to privatisation so presumably that is involved. But Labor governments, state and federal, have sold off assets before so, on its own, privatisation seems insufficient to have provoked such strong negative feelings towards the Premier herself.

To me it points towards punishment over the way things were done — a belief that Premier Bligh had not been truthful in what she said before the election. And if I am right in that conclusion then there will be a federal implication in this weekend’s results — an implication that Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be worried about.

And now for the final entries. Entries to our Crikey Queensland election contests close at midnight on Friday. Along with bragging rights to the winners go annual subscriptions to the Crikey newsletter. For your chance to be a winner, click the links below.

Petrol prices still creeping higher. This graph is not good news for the Labor Government.

Maybe this explains Clive Palmer’s behaviour. Have they done it again?

“A 50-year mystery over the ‘cursed bread’ of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.”

A report from this morning’s London Daily Telegraph