Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Vic Crone aims for undecided voters

Vic Crone is placed second in the mayoral contest by a poll showing many are yet to choose a candidate. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Vic Crone is placed second in the mayoral contest by a poll showing many are yet to choose a candidate. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Centre-right Auckland mayoral candidate Vic Crone says she is encouraged by a poll showing a big chunk of undecided voters in the race for city hall.

The poll showed Labour MP Phil Goff has twice the combined support of three centre-right candidates - Crone, John Palino and Mark Thomas.

Goff recorded 60.3 per cent among those who expressed a preference in a poll by Survey Sampling International, commissioned by the Spinoff in association with Jennings Murphy.

His closest challenger at this stage is former Xero executive Crone, on 15.5 per cent.

Crone said the poll showed Goff was benefiting from name recognition but she was encouraged by the 44 per cent of respondents who said they did not know who they would support.

"That is the market we are going after. There will be a higher turnout than last time and it will come down to who turns out on the day," said Crone, adding interest in the elections would increase now the Olympics are over.

Asked about her chance of winning the mayoralty, Crone said: "Absolutely. I have still got a chance of winning. He [Goff] is the leading candidate but it is not sewn up."

Crone said the poll showed Thomas was not in the game and Palino had some residual support from his 2013 campaign.

"I'm just focused on our campaign, targeting the don't-knows and getting my name out there," Crone said.

Thomas said online polls were notoriously unreliable, left-biased and about name awareness.

He had no intention of stepping aside for another candidate, saying: "I'm the man in the middle." The contest to challenge Goff was still alive, Thomas said.

"People have to make decisions about who the best candidates are. We are seeing the struggle different political groups are having trying to politicise these issues. I want people to focus more on the issues they think would provide the best leadership and solutions," Thomas said.

Palino believed the poll hit Crone the hardest because National's strong voting base in Auckland did not appear to be backing her.

"Vic can't pull people, she doesn't have it," Palino said, adding he was the candidate for the right to get behind.

"I'm the only one who has got a plan that affects the problems of Auckland," Palino said.

Responders to the poll said the top issues were housing (50.7 per cent), public transport (33 per cent), reducing rates (29.5 per cent) and cutting bureaucracy (19.2 per cent).

They were also asked to rate Mayor Len Brown's performance - 41.5 per cent gave him a fairly bad or awful score, while 19.4 per cent said he had done a fairly good job and 36.7 per cent an average job. Just 2.3 per cent gave him an excellent score.

• Post voting begins on September 16 and closes at noon on October 8.

- NZ Herald

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