The Auckland Central contest appears to be getting tighter with a new poll showing the gap between the Labour and National candidates has closed to five percentage points.
Labour’s Helen White is in front on 35 per cent followed by National’s Emma Mellow on 30 per cent and the Greens’ Chloe Swarbrick on 26 per cent, according to the Q+A Colmar Brunton poll released today.
When it comes to party-vote support, Labour is well ahead on 47 per cent, National on 28 per cent and the Greens on 13 per cent.
Mellow has closed the gap on White after an earlier poll put her almost 16 percentage points behind.
Candidate poll results:
Labour – Helen White 35%
National – Emma Mellow 30%
Green Party – Chlöe Swarbrick 26%
ACT – Felix Poole 4%
Sustainable New Zealand Party – Vernon Tava 2%
TEA Party – Dominic Hoffman Dervan 1%
NZ First – Jenny Marcroft 1%
Don’t know/refused 9%
Labour has always been concerned that Swarbrick could split the vote on the left and let National through. Helen White reiterated that concern on Q+A.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has campaigned actively with White and ruled out any sort of nod to help the Greens to win it.
White said she would love Swarbrick to pull back “but I doubt she is going to”.
“I’ve always said it was important we don’t split the vote on the left. I don’t want to be complacent about this and I don’t want people to get confused.”
Swarbrick responded by saying there was an under-estimation of the independent thinking in Auckland Central. They valued hard work, independent thinks and “boots on the ground” and she had worked hard in the electorate as a list MP in the past three years.
Mellow, who is in banking communications, said she was connected to business and that her support was growing every day.
White said her 27 years an employment lawyer also clearly meant she connected with small business.
In a previous poll, White had 42.3 per cent support, Mellow 26.6 per cent and Swarbrick 24.2 per cent.
That poll, one take for The Nation by Reid Research poll, was taken in the first half of September.
The seat has been held by National MP Nikki Kaye since 2008 but she announced her retirement from politics shortly after tumultuous events in the National Party including the resignation of leader Todd Muller in July.
She had actively promoted the coup against former leader Simon Bridges in May and became Muller’s deputy.
But she had a high national profile as a young minister in the Key Government and was prominent in socially liberal issues.
The Greens usually campaign only for the party vote but have targeted Auckland Central as a seat to win as insurance against its party vote falling below 5 per cent.
This is Swarbrick’s first term in Parliament. She has been the Greens leading campaigner in the referendum to legalise the recreational use of cannabis.
It came a poor third last election when Green list MP Denise Roche was the candidate.
White was second and came within 1581 votes of retaking the seat which has been a traditionally Labour seat – although Sandra Lee held it for the Alliance for a term in 1993.
Published at Sat, 03 Oct 2020 19:24:42 +0000