Kieran McAnulty, left, and Alastair Scott, right, talk to Tim Fookes, host of morning show News Talk FM, during a 2014 election radio debate. PHOTO/FILE
The electoral race for Wairarapa is shaping up to be a photo-finish between candidates from the two major parties if a just released survey of over 2000 eligible voters is accurate.
The survey, commissioned by the Labour Party and carried out by a professional community engagement company, shows the party’s candidate Kieran McAnulty and incumbent National MP Alastair Scott are close to neck-and-neck, with NZ First candidate Ron Mark well back in third place.
To the question which candidate they be voting for the result was:
Scott (National) 33.6 per cent, McAnulty (Labour) 29.9 per cent, Mark (NZ First) 18.5 per cent, Hart (Greens) 3.9 per cent.
Just on 10 per cent said they were unsure and 4.2 per cent nominated other unspecified candidates.
The survey company’s director Eric Goddard said yesterday the survey should not be interpreted as a poll but involved 2051 responses collected by touch-tone responses to automated phone questions.
Respondents did not know until they had completed the questions that the survey was commissioned by the Labour Party which, he confirmed, helped its accuracy.
There was no official margin of error.
To the question how they would cast their party vote the result was:
National (39.8 per cent), Labour (31 per cent), NZ First (13.6 per cent), The Greens (4.7 per cent), Maori Party (1.3 per cent) Another party (5 per cent) Unsure (4.6 per cent).
Those who responded as “unsure” to questions posed were then asked to which party did they have a slight leaning, the results were:
Labour (26.2 per cent), National (18.7 per cent), NZ First (6.5 per cent), The Greens (4 per cent), Maori Party (0.3 per cent), Another party (4 per cent).
Those who were unsure even of which way they had a slight leaning totalled 40.2 per cent.
Kieran McAnulty said the survey results clearly showed Wairarapa was a “two-horse race.”
“Up until now people have been saying there are three horses but it is down to National and Labour, just like last time when Ron Mark finished third,” he said.
Mr McAnulty said Wairarapa people could see the survey as presenting an opportunity for real change.
“With their support, I have a good chance of winning the seat and Labour is nipping at the heels of National on the party vote in Wairarapa – there is a genuine desire for change,” he said.
Mr Scott said the numbers “looked odd” and he remained unsure of the methodology.
“The only poll that matters is on September 23 and I will be hammering away until then,” he said.
Mr Mark said, “It’s a grey survey from where I sit, it’s interesting, but that’s all”.
He said the only thing he could take from it was the need for him to keep working hard.
“We have three or four weeks until election day and anything can happen in that time, and probably will.”
He said he wanted to be elected as Wairarapa MP as he knew what he could achieve for Wairarapa given the chance.
“If I am forced to again be a list MP then I have to focus on the party’s needs.
“I am tired of seeing my electorate being represented by a backbench MP and it’s no advantage for Wairarapa to be represented by a newbie who would have learn while on the job,” Mr Mark said.