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Kiri Allan ahead in Labour poll

National candidate Tania Tapsell says result hard to take seriously.

A Labour-commissioned poll says Kiri Allan leads National's Tania Tapsell by 40.5 percent to 35 percent as Labour attempts to turn East Coast red for the first time since the 2002 election.

The East Coast Survey, conducted by Auckland-based public opinion research company Community Engagement between September 22 and 24, shows Labour would take out the party vote in East Coast by a larger margin of 46.9 percent to National's 28.6 percent with the Greens on 4.4 percent, New Zealand First on 4.2 percent, "another party" (covering the 13 other parties contesting the 2020 election) receiving 9.1 percent collectively, and undecideds on 6.9 percent.

In the electorate poll where respondents were asked which candidate were they most likely to vote for, Green candidate Meredith Akuhata-Brown polled at 4.9 percent, “another (unspecified) party” polled 9.6 percent and undecideds were 9.9 percent.

Ms Tapsell said it was hard to take seriously a poll paid for by Labour Party activists.

“That Labour are attempting this tactic is an admission that their campaign is falling back as we have seen in the wider national trend.

“This does not reflect what I'm hearing on the ground which is great frustration that all Labour has delivered is announcing how much taxpayers' money they will spend on pet projects.”

Ms Tapsell said East Coast had huge housing and methamphetamine issues which had got worse under Labour.

“I've had really positive feedback from locals about National's economic recovery plan, particularly our plan to cut taxes.

According to the poll, List MP Kiri Allan enjoys strong support among female voters, 45 percent compared to 29 percent for Ms Tapsell.

The national candidate won male voters by 42 percent to 36 percent.

Ms Allan won the over 50s by 45 percent to 39 percent, and the under 50s.

Prime Minister Ardern's leadership appeals to many

The poll indicates the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Government's response to handling of Covid-19 appeals to many voters.

Asked if Ms Ardern's leadership “makes you more or less likely to vote for Labour candidate Kiri Allan”, 42.5 percent said much more likely, 9.8 percent said more likely and 19 percent said they were neutral.

A total of 9.3 percent said they were less likely and 19.4 said they were much less likely to vote for Ms Allan.

A similar question on Judith Collins' leadership resulted in 24.1 percent saying they were much more likely to vote for Ms Tapsell, 9.8 percent more likely, 27.2 percent neutral, 12.7 less likely and 31.2 percent much less likely.

The question on Covid-19 resulted in 44.6 percent saying they were much more likely to vote for Labour and/or Ms Allan, 10.6 were more likely, 20.2 percent were neutral, 9 percent were less likely and 15.6 percent were much less likely.

The most important issue was cost of living named by 17.6 percent, followed by recovery from Covid-19, 16.6 percent, jobs and employment 15.5 percent and health 13.7 percent.

Community Engagement Ltd said 831 people, contacted by either landline or cellphone, took part in the survey and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.39 percent.

Retiring National MP Anne Tolley has held the East Coast seat since 2005 and three years ago won with a majority of 4807 and 46.7 percent of the electorate votes, compared to 33.88 percent for Ms Allan.

National won the party vote in East Coast by 44.2 percent compared with Labour's 36.6 percent.

Advanced voting begins on Saturday. Election day is October 17.

ALLAN AHEAD: Polling in the East Coast electorate by research company Community Engagement shows Labour's Kiri Allan leading National's Tania Tapsell by 40.5 percent to 35 percent with limited support for third party candidates.
PARTY TIME: Labour also enjoys a lead in the party vote in East Coast, according to a poll commissioned by the party. Labour leads National by 46.9 percent to 28.6 percent.