Maori TV yesterday released their poll results for the seat of Tamaki Makaurau, and the race is far too close to call. This is Pita Sharples’ seat, with his retirement forcing the Maori Party to put up a new candidate, Rangi McLean. Despite the interminable difficulty Labour had in finding a candidate, the pundits have long said that the seat was still Labour’s to lose. Not so, according to Maori TV.
The poll places the Maori Party’s Rangi McLean ahead, but by just 1%. The results are:
- Maori Party (Rangi McLean) – 28%
- Labour (Peeni Henare) – 27%
- Mana (Kereama Pene) – 14%
- Greens (Marama Davidson) – 7%
Of course, with 14% undecided, the race could easily go either way. Nonetheless, the Maori Party will be more than happy to have their nose ahead in a race they wasn’t supposed to be winnable.
In the party vote, Labour are, unsurprisingly, clearly ahead:
- Labour – 37%
- Maori Party – 17%
- National – 13%
- Internet Mana – 12%
- NZ First – 11%
- Greens – 9%
With the Maori TV polls showing Te Ururoa Flavell streets ahead in Waiariki, and the Maori Party candidates holding slim leads in Tamaki Makaurau and Te Tai Hauauru, the Maori Party have been handed a series of motivation boosters. Despite being written off in two of those seats, and with questions having been raised about whether Flavell could hold Waiariki, the Maori Party are still well and truly alive in the race. If that doesn’t provide a campaign incentive to the troops, I don’t know what would.