The Conservatives' plans to have Napier candidate Garth McVicar campaign around the country were scaled back after internal polling showed he was proving popular in his home electorate.
Instead of having Mr McVicar shaking hands and kissing babies across New Zealand, party leader Colin Craig has instead left him to focus his campaigning in Napier, in the hope he can win the seat.
The change in strategy was revealed by Mr McVicar at Tuesday's Hawke's Bay Today Meet the Candidates debate in Napier, where the six candidates vying for the seat squared off in a debate in front of an audience of almost 300 voters.
Mr McVicar, who is No3 on the Conservative Party list, told the meeting there was no truth in a rumour he had fallen out with Mr Craig.
"Colin did see the opportunity of taking me around on a national canvassing campaign as well - and I'm off to Timaru to do a bit of canvassing as well - but ultimately he did a poll in Napier and he saw the opportunity here," Mr McVicar said.
"And I'm a staunch Napier advocate, so I want to stay here and fight for Napier. End of story."
Winning the local seat would ensure the Conservatives' entry into Parliament.
They have been polling below the 5 per cent threshold necessary to get list members into the House.
The party's interest in the Napier seat is reflected in the calibre of members set to attend a public meeting on police resourcing it has organised in the city on Sunday.
Mr Craig, who is No1 on the list, will be in town for the event, along with No2 ranked candidate, Christine Rankin, plus Mr McVicar.
Details of the strategies of other parties going into the final days of the campaign also emerged at Wednesday's candidate's debate, held at Napier Intermediate School.
Labour hopeful Stuart Nash said he estimated he needed to pick up about 3500 more votes than he did in 2011 to win the seat.
His campaign team had undertaken a detailed booth-by-booth analysis of voting in the electorate at the last election to come up with a strategy to get those votes.
"We know where the votes are that I need to get and we've gone and got them.
"I just hope that on election day our strategy has been successful," he said.
National candidate Wayne Walford rejected a suggestion that a lack of visits to Napier by high-profile ministers was an indication that his party had given up on him winning the seat.
As well as Prime Minister John Key being in town last weekend, cabinet ministers to visit the city had included deputy PM Bill English, Paula Bennett, Phil Heatley and Hekia Parata, he said.
Steven Joyce would be in town today.
Greens candidate Paul Bailey had a simple formula for success: "I need one more vote than the person who comes second."
But Mr Bailey's focus is on boosting the Greens' party vote rather than winning the seat, although he did ask voters to support him so he could get his deposit back from the Electoral Commission.
Alliance candidate Mary O'Neill was one of the country's lowest polling candidates in 2011, receiving the support of just 48 Napier voters. But she said she was standing again because she had competencies on environmental matters, which was one of the important issues voters were concerned about.
Barry Pulford, of the Democrats for Social Credit, admitted winning the seat was "mission impossible" for him but his party's policy platform was "a passion I support. I've supported it since 1975 and I'll continue to do so while I'm still breathing."