Poll shows strong lead for Sharples

By Amelia Romanos

Maori party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples. Photo / supplied
Maori party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples. Photo / supplied

The latest Tamaki Makaurau poll should make happy reading for Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples.

According to a Te Karere DigiPoll released today, Dr Sharples appears to have victory in the Auckland Maori electorate sewn up.

The poll, which surveyed 400 Maori roll voters, gave Dr Sharples a massive majority of 58 per cent for the electorate vote, with Labour's Shane Jones coming in second with less than half the votes, on 23 per cent.

Trailing further behind were Mana's Kereama Pene and Green Party candidate Mikaere Curtis, on 14 and 3 per cent respectively.

Dr Sharples has held the seat since 2005 when he won it from Labour's John Tamihere.

Mr Jones has put a great emphasis on the importance of winning back the seat, indicating he will reconsider his political career if he does not get a strong endorsement from Maori voters.

In other results from the poll, Dr Sharples was also the most favoured Maori MP, with 36 per cent support. Mana Party leader Hone Harawira came in next on 20 per cent, followed by Mr Jones on 11 per cent.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei and Labour's Parekura Horomia each received 4 per cent.

Labour maintained its lead in the race for the party vote, sitting on 32 per cent - four points ahead of the Maori Party. National had 17 per cent support, followed by Mana on 13 per cent, Greens on 5 per cent, and New Zealand First on 4 per cent.

As in the general roll polls, John Key led the race for most preferred prime minister with 28 per cent support, while Dr Sharples was the runner-up, on 13 per cent.

Labour leader Phil Goff, Mr Harawira, and Mr Jones all received 7 per cent support for the leadership battle, while Dr Sharples' co-leader Tariana Turia came in last with 3 per cent.

The majority of the respondents, 59 per cent, felt the Government was not heading in the right direction, 27 per cent thought it was and 14 per cent did not know.

The poll, which was conducted from October 10 to November 1, had a margin of error of 4.9 per cent.

- APNZ

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