13 Aug 2017

Dunne trailing in Ōhāriu electorate race - poll

1:50 pm on 13 August 2017

A poll in the crucial Ōhāriu electorate has the incumbent MP, United Future leader Peter Dunne, well behind.

Peter Dunne (left) and Greg O'Connor.

Peter Dunne (left) and Greg O'Connor. Photo: RNZ

A One News Colmar Brunton poll released today shows Greg O'Connor 14 points ahead of the incumbent Peter Dunne, with 48 percent of the vote compared to Mr Dunne's 34 percent.

Mr Dunne has held the seat since 1984.

National's Brett Hudson has garnered 14 percent of the vote, despite urging the party's supporters to vote for Mr Dunne to ensure United Future gets back into Parliament.

National's campaign manager, Steven Joyce, said the party was throwing its full weight behind Mr Dunne.

"We've got a job to do encouraging people to support Peter, primarily because he helps bring stability to the government."

Mr O'Connor, a former president of the Police Association, said the polls matched what he was hearing from constituents while out door-knocking.

"While there's an appreciation of the incumbent, everyone has their time.

"Someone like myself who comes with a more worldly perspective, having run a big business ... compared to someone who's been in politics for 33 years, it might be time for a new perspective."

Mr Dunne declined an interview, but in a statement highlighted that this was just one poll, and there was still a long way to run until the election.

He said the poll results came at an extraordinary time, with Labour still riding high following the appointment of Jacinda Ardern as party leader earlier this month.

However, despite the electoral showings, National was still dominating Ōhāriu in the party vote, opening a 10 percent lead over Labour with 45 percent.

The Green Party was polling at 12 percent, and New Zealand First had 4 percent of the vote.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

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