The Courier-Mail



THE battle for The Lodge will be fought and won in Queensland as major parties finalise their election strategies and begin setting up political combat zones across the state.

The fickle Queensland voter, who will kick out unpopular first-term government­s, will for the next year be bombarded by political tourists and doorknocke­rs trying to win their vote.

Labor insiders yesterday confirmed that tactics had “shifted from a parliament­ary focus to campaign” mode.

An election is due within 12 months.

It is believed the ALP will adopt a slogan similar to: “A positive direction for the future.” It aims to paint the Prime Minister as old-fashioned and negative.

Also, Labor will not support the Free Trade Agreement with China unless the Government promises Australian­s will not lose jobs to overseas workers.

PM Tony Abbott and his team will attack Mr Shorten for his links to “corrupt unions”, will accuse the Opposition Leader of being a captive of the union movement – and not looking out for everyday workers – and for being untrustwor­thy for his role in killing off two prime ministers.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that Mr Shorten’s wife, Chloe, a Queensland­er, will join the Opposition Leader on the campaign trail.

It comes as Cameron Milner, who helped deliver epic wins to former premier Peter Beattie in 2001 and 2004, and to former prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2007, was yesterday announced as Mr Shorten’s chief-of-staff.

In 2007, Mr Rudd appointed Mr Milner to develop a specific Queensland campaign to target a diverse and conservati­veleaning state.

Labor tacticians will adopt a similar policy for the 2015 election, with no superstars preselecte­d, just electionre­ady candidates. Two seats are yet to be preselecte­d.

With a large number of Queensland marginal seats and voter sentiment swinging widely in the past few elections, the Prime Minister will try to sandbag his 22 Queensland seats, while Mr Shorten will roll out a grassroots campaign to dramatical­ly boost his six-seat representa­tion in the state.

Labor believes it can win up to 10 seats in Queensland – almost half of the 21 needed to win government.

Based on the latest Galaxy poll published in The Sunday Mail on August 23, Federal Labor is ahead of the LNP in Queensland by 51 per cent to 49 per cent on a twoparty-preferred basis.

If an election were held today, that would deliver Labor an eight-point swing and hand it at least eight seats in Queensland, putting

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