5 Oct 2023

Te Pāti Māori candidate trails Labour's Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau, new poll shows

10:59 pm on 5 October 2023
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Kelvin Davis enjoys solid support among older voters in his electorate, the poll shows. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Labour deputy leader and incumbent MP Kelvin Davis has opened up a six-point gap over his Te Pāti Māori rival in the race for Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

A Whakaata Māori poll shows Davis is on 32 percent as the preferred candidate with peak support among over-60s, however, older voters make up only 22 percent of the electorate which runs from Northland down to the North Shore of Auckland.

Te Pāti Māori candidate Mariameno Kapa-Kingi is on 26 percent with her highest support among under 40s who make up 43 percent of the electorate.

Green Party candidate Hūhana Lyndon is on 7 percent while Maki Herbert of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has 6 percent support. A total of 14 percent of those polled were undecided.

Davis said during a debate on Whakaata Māori / Māori TV on Thursday night that becoming a grandfather will be the best win for him on 14 October.

The baby will be his first mokopuna.

"For those who don't know, I'll be a koro on election day," he said.

Davis had shared before the broadcast that his daughter was due to deliver on election day.

"Wherever she is, that's where I'll be. Whatever happens, I'll be a winner."

In the party stakes, Labour claimed 35 percent support for the preferred party, followed by Te Pāti Māori on 22 percent, Greens (9 percent), National (8) and ACT were on 4 percent. A total of 9 percent were undecided.

The poll, conducted by Curia Market Research, found that the cost of living was the biggest issue for Te Tai Tokerau voters at 34 percent. It has been the biggest issue for all five Māori electorates polled to date.

Other major issues in the northern seat were the economy at 9 percent and honouring the Treaty of Waitangi at 6 percent.

In the leadership stakes, Chris Hipkins was the preferred prime minister with 27 percent, Rawiri Waititi on 12 percent, Christopher Luxon gained 11 percent support and Winston Peters was on 10.

Polling was completed on 3 October. A total of 500 registered voters in Te Tai Tokerau were polled by landline, mobile and online with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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