POPULAR Dorset Mayor Barry Jarvis will bolster the Liberals' chances of clinching majority government in March, announcing his intention to run at the next state election.
The high-profile mayor will confirm today he is seeking preselection as a Liberal candidate in the crucial seat of Bass.
The addition of the big name to the Liberals' Bass line-up is a coup for the Opposition, which needs to win three out of the five seats in the electorate to claim majority government next year.
Cr Jarvis will join incumbents Peter Gutwein and Michael Ferguson and Launceston school principal Leonie McNair on the Liberal ticket.
With polling already suggesting the Opposition is on track to get the numbers, the personal popularity of Cr Jarvis, who scooped 50 per cent of the primary vote when he ran for a second term as councillor two years ago, all but guarantees the result in Bass.
His success is likely to come at the expense of Labor minister Brian Wightman.
Cr Jarvis revealed he had turned down approaches by minor parties in the lead-up to the federal election, setting his sights on state government.
``My passion is the state,'' Cr Jarvis said.
The 59-year-old has been outspoken against the forestry peace deal as the downturn in the forestry industry has hit his constituents hard and said a majority government was needed to boost business confidence.
If elected in March, Cr Jarvis would stay on as mayor until the local government elections in October.
Under new laws passed this year, politicians can not serve on the two tiers of government at the same time; a rule Cr Jarvis said he supported.
While not officially preselected yet, Cr Jarvis enjoys the support of Liberal leader Will Hodgman.
``Mayor of Dorset since 2009, Barry Jarvis is a strong fighter for regional Tasmania, and has repeatedly stood up for his community against the job destroying forest deal,'' Mr Hodgman said.