Union asset to Labor's campaign

IF SITTING Ipswich LNP MP Ian Berry loses his seat today the grass roots campaign run by the Labor Party and the union movement will be a major factor.

The LNP's desire to sell or lease assets, which proved Labor's undoing in 2012, has given the union movement and grass roots organisations a target to aim at and demolish.

The (ETU) has been a constant thorn in Mr Berry's side and, in conjunction with the Not4Sale organisations, has regularly protested at his office and campaigned in the media with skill.

Griffith University political analyst Dr Paul Williams said the union movement, led by the ETU, had "kept the asset leases on the agenda" with the message that "these assets could be sold or leased to foreign hands and your electricity prices could soar".

"Some would call it fear mongering, others would call it good politicking," he said.

"But in the turfing out of the Howard government you would have to give as much credit to the union movement with the 'no Work Choices' (campaign) as you'd give to the Labor Party.

"It is the same here. The union movement and interests groups have kept alive their distaste for asset leases and sales as much, or more, than the Labor party.

"Without them Labor's impact in these seats with a long blue collar heritage (like Ipswich) would not have been as great, no doubt."

The red shirts of Young Labor volunteers have been everywhere in the electorate.

Labor candidate Jennifer Howard has had a strong grass roots campaign behind her and has had a solid month without any blemishes.

Mr Berry was dealt a bad hand by Premier Campbell Newman when he said the Ipswich cycling criterium track would only be funded if Mr Berry was returned. This went down like a lead balloon with the electorate.