JA Vs KK: The battle for Bennelong begins

Former Liberal MP John Alexander is confident of being re-elected in Bennelong despite going up against Labor's high-profile candidate Kristina Keneally.

A day after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced the former NSW premier would challenge the former tennis star, the pair hit the streets in the northwest Sydney electorate, even bumping into each other in the proverbial shopping mall.

Held by the Liberals with a margin of more than nine per cent, Bennelong is up for grabs on December 16 after Mr Alexander was forced to resign over dual citizenship concerns.

He was accompanied on Wednesday by the experienced campaigner, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, who assured voters he's the best candidate.

She described him as a "champion" and "powerful leader", and said she was confident he would reclaim the seat.

"He is a proud Australian, he is a powerful advocate for this electorate," she told reporters.

A decision about his dual citizenship status from UK authorities is expected this week.

Mr Alexander told reporters in Eastwood it was "very difficult when your father is born in 1907 and came here has a three-year-old and what the laws were pertaining to citizenship then".

"There was no question that I was Australian and solely Australian."

Ms Keneally concedes she is the underdog in the campaign but is also confident of her chances.

"We put forward a strong case ... we stand up for the community, this community will vote for Labor."

The federal government was quick to bring up corruption findings against Ms Keneally's former state colleagues, saying she was not fit to represent the people of Bennelong in Canberra.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned Bennelong voters on Tuesday not to "let Kristina Keneally do to Bennelong what she did to NSW".

It's the political baggage from her time leading NSW Labor that the federal government hopes will hurt her.

But a spokesperson for Mr Shorten said the Liberal party's claims were "desperate" and "Kristina Keneally helped put Eddie Obeid in jail".

"And any smear from desperate Liberals shows you how pathetic they really are," a statement on Wednesday said.

Labor is hoping Ms Keneally will become the second high-profile woman to snatch the seat from the Liberals.

Prime minister John Howard spectacularly lost the Liberal seat to high-profile ABC journalist and ALP candidate Maxine McKew in 2007.

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