Throsby has long been considered one of the safest Labor seats in the nation but that could all change at the upcoming election.
The southern Illawarra electorate is the only one in NSW - and one of just 10 nationwide - to have a three-cornered contest, as the Liberal Party's Larissa Mallinson and high-profile Nationals representative Gary "Angry" Anderson contest the seat against Labor incumbent Stephen Jones.
Mr Jones holds the seat with a margin of 12.1 per cent but admitted he faced a "tight contest" on September 7.
The MP said he believed Paul Matters - an independent Throsby candidate and former South Coast Labour Council secretary - was running alongside Ms Mallinson and Mr Anderson to gain votes for the Coalition.
"Paul Matters is betraying everything that he's ever pretended to stand for," Mr Jones said.
"This is a guy who used to represent the interests of the union movement here in the Illawarra and is campaigning to give his preferences to Tony Abbott, the architect of WorkChoices."
Since declaring his candidacy last week, Mr Matters has released a slew of anti-ALP campaign material, which states the ALP is corrupt and says Mr Jones "has shown himself unworthy as a representative of the people of Throsby".
However, Mr Matters last week denied he was running to gain votes for the Liberal Party, saying his anti-ALP material was simply designed to run against an incumbent member.
Mr Matters argued he maintained his traditional "Labor values" and was battling with the ALP to win "hearts and minds" in its Throsby heartland.
In addition to being weighted with Coalition candidates, Throsby has one of the most populated ballot papers in the country with 11 candidates.
Only eight other seats out of the 150 Australia-wide have the same amount and just six have more people contesting.
Mr Jones said this would make for increased competition on election day.
"If you've got your name on the ballot paper, you get votes ... but I'm campaigning to win this seat in my own right without preferences so that I can continue to do the job that I've been doing for the past three years," Mr Jones said.
"I think it'll be a real contest in Throsby, I've never taken it for granted from the day I first got elected."
The ALP has represented the seat since it was created in 1984.
Candidates back IBC campaign
A number of federal electoral candidates will be in North Wollongong tomorrow at a campaign to highlight the plight of small businesses.
Organised by the Illawarra Business Chamber, the campaign ‘‘Small Business – Too Big to Ignore’’ will include the largest mobile billboard in the southern hemisphere.
The billboard, brought in by semi-trailer, will be set up at Galvin Park, next to the surf livesaving club at North Wollongong, from 11am to 12.30pm.
Among those appearing at the event at noon will be Cunningham MP Sharon Bird, Liberal candidate Philip Clifford, and John Flanagan from the Non-Custodial Parents Party, as well as Throsby candidates Gary ‘‘Angry’’ Anderson from the Nationals and Brian Boulton from the Democratic Labour Party.