Labor has not missed an opportunity to attack the conservative credentials of the Canberra Liberals in the lead up to October's election.
The party is banking on Canberrans baulking at Opposition Leader Alistair Coe's ideological leanings when they head to the ballot box.
Its campaign has repeatedly claimed Coe is inexperienced and out of touch with mainstream Canberrans, while Barr is a safe pair of hands with a big vision for the city.
But will the strategy pay off? Or will voters be more focused on hyper local issues like roads, rates and rubbish?
A conservative coup
Ending his speech to the Press Club in October last year, Coe quipped: "If you're a Liberal in Canberra you believe in miracles."
The Liberals know it's an uphill battle for them to form government in what many consider a Labor town, so their decision to back a conservative leader has perplexed many.
The conservative control of the Canberra Liberals has been in the spotlight since Zed Seselja rolled the then moderate senator, and former chief minister, Gary Humphries in 2013.
Humphries quit the party in 2014, saying it was out of touch with the ACT community, unable to control its finances, and dominated by its far right.
He said the party risked years in the wilderness thanks to being controlled by its conservative faction.
The 2020 election will perhaps be the ultimate test of Humphries' claim.
As Labor will take any chance to remind you (just listen to their campaign launch last weekend) Coe is decidedly socially conservative. For example, he voted against same-sex marriage, and is against euthanasia.
Coe has been asked countless times by journalists whether he is really the right person to be leading the party in a town like Canberra.
He says no one cares about ideology beyond journalists and Labor, and rolls out a now well rehearsed line.
"We'll keep focusing on real and tangible issues that affect Canberrans," Coe says.
But it's also true at least four of his own colleagues wanted to turf him as leader less than a year ago.
They feared losing any shot at winning the election, largely because he was too conservative for the electorate, putting forward moderate Elizabeth Lee as an alternative leader.
One of the common criticisms of Barr is that he is too invested in his own vision of Canberra and detached from the everyday concerns of ordinary Canberrans.
So while Barr is keen to discuss the big picture, Coe will stick to rates, roads and rubbish.
ANU politics professor Jill Sheppard says Coe's conservatism created an image problem for the Liberals.
However many of the people who would be concerned by it wouldn't have voted for him in the first place.
She says local issues could be more important in the ACT electoral system than in other jurisdictions.
This is because voters don't have to choose the candidate the party tells them to.
That's why the Liberals' strategy of focusing on improvements to local areas could translate to votes.
"In other state ele
ctions, candidates are more likely to talk about state-based issues," Sheppard says.
The Liberals' green credentials
As much as Coe maintains it's only journalists who care about whether he's a moderate or conservative, you only have to look at the Liberals' campaign to know they also realise it could be a problem.
Their main focus has been on promising to drive the cost of living down for Canberrans, explaining they will be able to cut taxes but maintain revenue by increasing ACT's population - he is yet to provide any modelling for how this will be achieved.
But the party has also come out with a slew of policies that appear to be in competition with the ACT Greens.
They have promised to plant 1 million trees, create more greens spaces, and have pitched an ambitious plan to radically extend the city's bike path network.
There was the promise to deliver mindfulness classes in Canberra schools, and then the announcement that former Labor chief minister Jon Stanhope would lead the party's "poverty taskforce".
The party also appears to be targeting some of its policies towards multicultural communities in key seats.
For example it has pledged to build a new community centre especially for Canberra's multicultural communities in Gungahlin.
Many of their candidates come from diverse backgrounds, while Labor's ticket remains overwhelmingly white.
Coe has been critical of Labor around its multicultural policies, saying they have been condescending and failed to properly engage with diverse communities.
So while Coe will publicly dismiss the relevance of his ideology, the party knows that perception matters.
There are a number of minor parties and independents who say they can provide a real alternative to Labor and the Liberals.
Canberra Progressives president Robert Knight says the government is on the nose, but people can't bring themselves to vote for the Liberals under Coe.
"People are tired with the Barr-Labor-Greens government, but they're really weary of an opposition that just seem to be playing games as opposed to a genuine vision," he says.
Knight says the party was working hard to be seen as a genuine alternative, but recognised it was an uphill battle to win a seat.
"The Liberals are not listening to the community," he says.
"Alistair Coe and that faction in the Liberal Party ... they just don't seem to understand that their values and view of the world are completely unaligned with the majority of Canberrans.
"The biggest problem we have is breaking people's general apathy and caged optimism."
He says a big problem with Labor is its vested interests.
"There are very large donors providing funds to both the Labor and Liberals parties," Knight says.
"There is a fair bit of power-broking behind the scenes which we don't see."
Knight is convinced Labor will form government again - but it won't be an endorsement of the party's performance.
"Canberrans as a whole are not going to vote for the most conservative iteration of the liberal party in Australia," he says.
"I just don't see it."