HOWARD'S HEROES: New Labor Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard accepts congratulations from friends and family on Saturday night. BELOW: Ms Howard looks over the figures with number cruncher Shayne Neumann and daughter Samantha Howard as the results come in to campaign headquarters.
HOWARD'S HEROES: New Labor Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard accepts congratulations from friends and family on Saturday night. BELOW: Ms Howard looks over the figures with number cruncher Shayne Neumann and daughter Samantha Howard as the results come in to campaign headquarters. Rob Williams

Howard's battlers have a brand new champion

HOWARD'S battlers.

They don't belong to John Howard in Ipswich.

Instead, they have pledged their allegiance to the new Labor MP for Ipswich Jennifer Howard and delivered her an emphatic victory in Saturday's state election.

One Labor campaign worker said handing out Ms Howard's how to vote cards on Saturday was like giving away ice creams.

Ms Howard certainly creamed LNP's Ian Berry with a 20.7% swing to Labor giving her 66.5% of the two-party preferred vote to Mr Berry's 33.5%.

Ms Howard won 53.9% of the primary vote to Mr Berry's 28.1%.

Before a large crowd of supporters at Trades Hall, an emotional and delighted Ms Howard was able to claim victory early on Saturday night.

"It is a really emphatic result," she said.

"I do believe there is quite a bit of personal support out there for me. I felt it.

"People also wanted to send a message to Campbell Newman."

When the QT spoke to voters exiting the Raceview State School booth, two key points became clear. They didn't want the sale of state assets.

They wanted jobs, and they expected government to play a part in creating them.

"Queenslanders, and the people of Ipswich, feel really strongly about keeping the assets in state hands," Ms Howard said.

"And when it comes to employment, everyone knows there needs to be incentives to employers to hire apprentices and trainees.

"There needs to be traineeships and apprentice- ships available for kids to get into, and Labor showed with our employment policies and training policies that we have the goods to make it happen."

Ms Howard's grass roots focus is set to be a foundation of her term in office.

"Arts and culture and sporting groups unite all demographics and ages. They are the things that create community and are really important to people in Ipswich, and they are important to me," she said.

Ms Howard's campaign director Wayne McDonnell, a veteran of 30 years of working on Labor campaigns, said Ms Howard was the real deal.

"I have worked with Jennifer over the years and she has the knowledge, the skill and the personality to be a very good representative of this area," he said.

"But more than that, she has her feet firmly on the ground and she is part of the community, as opposed to being a little bit above it. She represents the community very well."

Ms Howard said Mr McDonnell was "a machine" throughout the campaign.

"He gave so much discipline to the campaign and gave us all a sense of focus, and he was a tremendous personal support to me," she said.



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