BIG NEWS

Monday, November 03, 2008

Most Maori will vote for Maori Party candidate - but all Maori electorate MPs could hold onto their seats


More than half of voters in the Maori electorates are going to vote for the Maori Party candidate - but less than a third will vote the Maori Party, according to surveys released by Maori Television. But 11% don't know which candidate they`ll vote for and 16% have not decided on a party yet – but that includes some non voters. What is interesting that all Maori electorate MPs could hold onto their seats - both Labour and Maori Party MPs.

But there's not much between Parekura Horomia and Derek Fox in Ikaroa Rawhiti. In the most recent survey taken, Horomia gathered 50 per cent, Derek Fox, won 45 per cent support. That's within the margin of error. Seven percent are undecided. But half said they'd support Labour with just 33 percent supporting Fox’s Maori Party. That’s in contrast to the Marae digipoll this month. That’s an increase in support for the Maori Party and a similar increase for both candidates - but the undecideds were unknown.

In Hauraki Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta is on 56 percent with the Maori Party's Angeline Greensill on 43 percent, with Labour on 47 percent and the Maori Party on 36 percent. In the Marae digipoll Mahuta is ahead of Angeline Greensill by 0.6%.

In total, of the seven Maori electorates surveyed by Maori Television, more than half (58%) Maori are going to vote for the Maori Party candidate and less than a third (29%) will vote the Labour candidate. The party vote is different. About 35% will vote for the Maori Party and 45% for Labour. This compares with 20% for the Maori Party and 52% for Labour at the beginning of the month.

So although the Maori Party vote has more than doubled in the past month, the Labour Party vote hasn't halved as there are a higher proportion of Maori who are undecided. Many are former Labour voters who don’t like Labour as much but won’t commit to the Maori Party. In Waiariki, one in five are undecided which party they`ll vote for and one in 10 are undecided as to which candidate they`ll vote for. In Te Tai Tonga nearly one in five voters don't know which candidate they’ll vote for. Many will vote Labour in the party vote.

So, it will be interesting if those undecided voters vote on Saturday. The Maori Party may not get the seven seats they hoped for. The last minute deciders, if most vote, could sway things in key electorates.

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