Federal Labor may be well ahead in opinion polls but that's not good enough for opposition frontbencher Jason Clare.
"We need to win seats," Mr Clare told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
"I think we have all learnt the hard way not to trust polls."
Speaking just hours before Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due to meet the governor-general to finally kick-off the election, Mr Clare expects a tight and tough campaign.
But he believes voters are sick of the "lies and incompetence" of a government that has been in power for almost a decade.
"This is an old government. If they win this election they they'have been in power for longer than (former Liberal prime minister) John Howard," Mr Clare said
"I've got to say this government does not hold a candle to John Howard."
But the government says Labor leader Anthony Albanese lacks the experience to run the country and has been playing a small-target pre-election campaign so far.
"Anthony Albanese has been curled up in a ball not wanting people to know who he was," government frontbencher Peter Dutton told the Nine Network.
"Having been in parliament for 20 years and watched governments of both persuasions, I don't believe the Labor government could have guided us through the last three years in which the coalition has."
But Mr Clare points to his leader having been a former deputy prime minister and minister of the former Labor government.
"Anthony Albanese is a straight talker, a hard worker, a problem solver, somebody who will be there in a crisis, not run away like Scott Morrison; he's got a united an experience team," he said.
The government repeatedly points to the $387 billion of taxes Labor took to the last election - a figure made up in Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's office - even though Labor is adamant those policies have been ditched.
"They haven't changed. The leopard has not changed its spots. Let's not kid ourselves," Liberal frontbencher Stuart Robert told Sky News.
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles reiterated there will be no tax rises under his party other than ensuring multinationals pay their fair share of tax.
But Labor has refused to commit to the government's tax-to-GDP cap of 23.9 per cent, which it says is an arbitrary figure.
"This comes from the government which is the second highest taxing government in our country's history, the highest being the Howard government," Mr Marles told ABC's Insiders program.
"We are not going to raise taxes, pure and simple."
Mr Clare also pointed to the rising cost of petrol, child care and rent that Australians are having to endure.
"So if Scott Morrison thinks everything is hunky dory and Australians have never been better off, then he is more out of touch that I think he ever was," Mr Clare said.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.