Aspiring opposition leader Bill Shorten.
Aspiring opposition leader Bill Shorten. Rob Williams

Shorten goes Harry Potter - Albanese 'must not be named'

ASPIRING opposition leader Bill Shorten appears to have pulled some of his campaign strategy from the Harry Potter books, daring not to speak the name of his opponent Anthony Albanese when making his case to members.

Candidate statements from each will begin arriving in mailboxes today, with both supplying blurbs as to why they should be the ones to lead the troops against Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Albanese is running on a slogan of "vision, unity and strength" while Mr Shorten is going for alliteration, "Party. Policy. People".

Mr Albanese referred to his challenger, describing Mr Shorten as "a friend of mine, a great communicator" and someone "who would make a very good leader".

Mr Shorten did not return the favour, opting to stay silent on his opponent.

In the fantasy novels, characters often warned against speaking the name of the evil "Lord Voldemort" for fear it may put them in danger.

Themes of rebuilding feature heavily in both campaign statements, with each offering strong leadership and vowing to win back power come 2016.

Both contenders are to appear on ABC's panel show Q&A to campaign for member support on Monday.

The tepid and measured tones of the campaign do not surprise University of Queensland political reader Dr Ian Ward.

Dr Ward suggests the public glare of this leadership campaign means the traditionally secret battle is forced into the light and its players into "civility".

"It has defused some of the aggravation that has surrounded leadership," he said.

Labour members must vote before October 9 - the caucus vote will follow a day later.

Whoever wins the majority of support from both the caucus and members will be given the mantle of leader on October 13.

 

TIMELINE

  • Sept 24: Voting opens, ballot papers and statements issued.
  • Oct 9: ALP member ballot closes 5pm.
  • Oct 10: Caucus votes 4pm.
  • Oct 11: Member votes counted.
  • Oct 13: Caucus votes counted, leader elected.

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