The Australian’s
Steve Lewis runs his own version of the Crikey Labor Deadwood List today – and tells us to watch out for Bill Shorten.

The Australian Workers Union boss also turns up in the Herald Sun this morning . Following our story yesterday, the Hun
reports that “Simon Crean’s federal Labor days are numbered,” and tips
that Shorten is seeking to replace Bob Sercombe in the Melbourne seat
of Maribyrnong. The Age said the same about Shorten yesterday – and the bloke will be in this week’s Bulletin.

There’s been plenty of static about Shorten in the air for weeks now. All of which makes this report by Melbourne blogger Ari Sharp even more interesting:

A reliable source has told me about some interesting
political market research being carried out by AusPoll, a research firm
with close links to the ALP.

At a focus group in the inner
eastern suburbs of Melbourne, participants were discussing two separate
but (kinda) related issues – opposition to a Free Trade Agreement with
China, and perceptions of Bill Shorten. Apparently the client for the
two was one-and-the-same, presumably AWU heavyweight Shorten, who is
keen to challenge incumbent Labor MP Bob Sercombe in the seat of
Maribyrnong during Labor preselection.

As part of the
research, participants were shown various news clips of Shorten and
were asked to evaluate his style, manner and appearance. No doubt
Shorten appeared in his famous blue AWU shirt, which seems to be
permanently stitched to his back. During the China FTA research, the
firm tested various messages on participants, in particular looking at
China as a human rights abuser and a ‘Fairwear’ style campaign to
challenge Chinese-made goods…

This comes after Crikey
hears that Shorten recently spilled his ambitions to a Labor luminary
at a public dinner. After Shorten returned to his own seat, the party
Big Man turned to other diners with the words: “He wants to become PM!”