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June 09: Mt Albert by-election snap poll

Published: 6:03PM Sunday June 07, 2009 Source: ONE News

Labour will romp home in the battle for former prime minister Helen Clark's old seat of Mount Albert according to the first major poll of the electorate.

Just six days out from the by-election, a special ONE News Colmar Brunton poll gives Labour's David Shearer nearly three times the support of National candidate Melissa Lee.

National is putting on a brave face as it campaigns in the electorate despite the grim reality that it was always going to be very tough in Mt Albert.

The task was made tougher by some major blunders by Lee, including suggesting a motorway could stop criminals coming into the area from South Auckland and saying earlier in the month that she was not expecting to win.

Shearer has plodded on relentlessly, focussing on the issues and earning as many votes as they can.


Other candidates have stood mainly to lift their party's profile.

Green Party candidate Russell Norman says the people of Mt Albert are used to having a leader as their local representative and he is co-leader of a political party.

While John Boscawen from Act says the great thing about this by-election is that it's not going to change the government and people can go out and choose the best candidate to represent them.

That honour looks almost certain be Shearer's.

The ONE News poll shows the Labour candidate with 59% of the vote - nearly three times the level of support for Lee who is way back on 21%. Not much further behind her is Norman on 15% while Boscawen is not really featuring at all with just 3% support.

However the party vote is not as bad for National. Labour is clearly more popular with 48% but National is still doing better than in the electorate race with 37% support.

The poll, which sampled 500 Mt Albert voters and had a margin of error of 4.4%, suggests this could have been a much closer race without a National candidate who didn't slip up from the word go.