3 Oct 2023

ACT's Brooke van Velden turns up heat on Simon O'Connor in new poll

7:15 pm on 3 October 2023
National MP Simon O'Connor is the incumbent for Auckland's Tāmaki electorate, while ACT Party deputy leader Brooke van Velden is also seeking the seat.

Simon O'Connor and Brooke van Velden. Photo: RNZ

ACT deputy leader Brooke van Velden is locked in a statistical tie with the incumbent Simon O'Connor in the previously safe National seat of Tāmaki, a new Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll reveals.

When those who are undecided or refused to state their preferences are removed, O'Connor is on 40 percent support - down 13 points on the 2020 election - while van Velden is on 38 percent, up 30 points on the last election.

Labour's Fesaitu Solomone was on 14 percent, the Greens on 4 percent, Te Pāti Māori on 2 percent, and NZ First on 1 percent.

Tāmaki has been a National stronghold for decades since former prime minister Robert Muldoon won the seat back at the 1960 general election.

When asked if O'Connor was doing a good job as a local MP, 30 percent agreed he was while 29 percent believed his performance had been poor.

National has a healthy lead for the party vote; it attracted 46 percent support, Labour was on 19, ACT on 13 and NZ First 4 percent. Five perecent of respondents were undecided.

Excluding the undecideds, National was at 49 percent ( up 12 percent from 2020), Labour 20 percent ( down 19 percent), ACT 14 percent ( up 2 percent) and the Greens were unchanged on 8 percent.

On the subject of the direction the country is heading, three-quarters of those polled believed it was heading in the wrong direction while only 15 percent approved.

Law and order was considered the most important local issue, followed by the cost of living, the economy and climate change.

The poll was conducted by Curia Market Research and commissioned by the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union.

It was conducted from 18-28 September. The sample size was 409 eligible voters who were contactable on a landline or mobile phone selected at random from 5000 phone numbers in the electorate. The results are weighted to reflect the overall voting adult population in terms of gender, age, and area. The maximum sampling error (for a result of 50 percent) is +/- 4.9 percent, at the 95 percent confidence level.

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