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Finite difference type preconditioners for spectral element discretizations based on Legendre-Gauss-Lobatto points are analyzed. The latter is employed for the approximation of uniformly elliptic partial differential problems. In this work, it is shown that the condition number of the resulting preconditioned system is bounded independently of both of the polynomial degrees used in the spectral element method and the element sizes. Several numerical tests verify the h-p independence of the proposed preconditioning.