Tauranga and the Western Bay could end up having at least three new faces in Parliament if city councillor Clayton Mitchell's top-10 list ranking is confirmed by New Zealand First.
A leaked report disclosed by Fairfax yesterday showed that Mr Mitchell was believed to be in the top 10 of New Zealand First's draft party list.
New Zealand First's list is decided by a List Ranking Committee, which includes the leader, deputy, president, vice presidents and directors.
Mr Mitchell told the Bay of Plenty Times that he was reluctant to comment until his ranking had been officially confirmed. The list was due to be released this week.
Pressed to comment on the report, he said he was feeling very confident that Tauranga was going to have some representation in Parliament.
"To be be fair, it speaks a lot for the people of Tauranga, the importance of this seat, and what I can get done. I would like to be in the top 10."
Mr Mitchell (right) said New Zealand First needed to win 8 or 9 per cent of the party vote to get the top 10 on the party list into Parliament.
The other new faces could be National's Todd Muller who was strongly favoured to win the safe Bay of Plenty seat and Labour's Tauranga Electoral candidate Rachel Jones who was placed 25 on her party's list.
Winston Peters told the Bay of Plenty Times the leaked list had been made up.
"What you've got are people making it up as they go along. There has been no leak of the New Zealand First party list."
National's Simon Bridges was favoured to win the Tauranga seat because of his huge 2011 majority.
New Zealand First and Labour would need a moderate gain on current polls for Mr Mitchell and Dr Jones to become MPs.
Dr Jones would enter Parliament if Labour won about 32 per cent of the party vote but the party was currently polling at 27.5 per cent in the latest Roy Morgan poll.
The same poll which concluded shortly after the release of Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics book showed that the potential "king-maker", New Zealand First, had increased its share of the vote to 6.5 per cent - up 1.5 per cent. This was New Zealand First's best result since September, while National's coalition partners remained mostly unchanged in the poll.
Mr Bridges responded by saying it would be speculative to comment on what may or may not happen.
How the main parties are polling
• National: 47.5%, 50% and 48%
• Labour: 29%, 26% and 27.5%
• Greens: 13%, 11% and 11.5%
• NZ First: 4.6%, 5% and 6.5%
- Sources: 3 News-Reid Research Poll Aug 5-13; One News-Colmar Brunton Poll Aug 9-13 and Roy Morgan Poll Aug 4-17