26 Sep 2023

National's Muralidhar nipping at Swarbrick's heels in Auckland central electorate poll

7:16 pm on 26 September 2023
Auckland Central Candidates Debate at Whammy Bar

An Auckland Central candidates' debate earlier in September. Photo: Emma Stanford

Incumbent Green MP for Auckland Central Chloe Swarbrick is barely ahead of National's Mahesh Muralidhar - within the margin of error - in a Taxpayers Union-Curia electorate poll.

With a large undecided vote it's looking like a very close race between the pair, Labour's Oscar Sims trailing a distant 12 points behind Muralidhar.

The Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll had a sample size of 500 due to the lower voting population when polling for an electorate compared to the whole country.

It was similar to the methodology the outfit has used for its other electorate polls, like in Ilam and Northland, but means there is a higher margin of error, of +/- 4.9 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval. This and the fact it is a single poll rather than a trend makes it less reliable than the nationwide polling.

However, it's still a good early barometer on how the campaigns are going.

Voters were asked which candidate they would vote for if the election had been held the previous day:

  • Chlöe Swarbrick (Green Party): 26 percent
  • Mahesh Muralidhar (National): 24 percent
  • Oscar Sims (Labour): 12 percent
  • Heeni Phillips-Williams (NZ First): 3 percent
  • Felix Poole (ACT): 1 percent
  • Unsure: 29 percent

The other candidates - Damian Sycamore (TOP) Christopher Coker (Legalise Cannabis), Paul Davie (Rock the Vote), Madeleine Kane (Animal Justice) Guy Slocum (New Nation) and Andi Shen Liu, who was running as an independent - registered about 1 percent support between them.

Te Pāti Māori also registered about 1 percent electorate support despite not standing a candidate in the seat, and 3 percent refused to answer.

The numbers are a dramatic shift from the last election, when Swarbrick won with 35.5 percent of the vote ahead of Labour's Helen White on 32.5 percent, who is standing this year in Mt Albert where former Labour leader Jacinda Ardern had stood. The National Party's Emma Mellow came in third in Auckland Central on 27.5 percent.

The poll was taken on Sunday, 24 September. Results were weighted for demographics.

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