Recently asked which electorates I would be watching on election night, I had to familiarise myself with the new electorate boundaries and recent polling before I could make a judgment.
The new electoral boundaries do not amount to much except for reflecting the rapid population growth which has occurred north of Hamilton.
The polls, however, could make seat watching on election night very interesting indeed.
National Party stalwart and columnist Matthew Hooton revealed this week that National's internal polling, like that of the recently published UMR poll, still has National "20 points behind".
This will be a reference to the party vote, but the effects of this level of support, or lack of it, will flow through to the candidate vote and have repercussions for the National Party's marginal seats.
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Though it is the party vote which ultimately decides the make-up of Parliament, the big parties know that when their party vote drops, they also lose seats.
In the general election of 2002, for example, when National's party vote last suffered a major plunge, Labour's Rick Barker won Tukituki with a solid majority.
For this reason, Wairarapa and Tukituki, marginal Hawke's Bay seats which have been drifting out of National's grasp for a couple of elections, will be worth close attention, but they may not be the first to fall if polling trends continue.
Nelson has been held by National Party veteran Nick Smith for many years and in 2017 had a majority of over 4000 votes.
In 2017, however, Nelson was targeted by the Green Party for a two ticks campaign and the combined Labour and Green candidate vote in that election exceeded Smith's tally by more than 5000 votes.
This time, the Greens have learned from that experience and will just be targeting the party vote. It will be surprising if Dr Smith holds on to the seat but his list spot at number 18 may be enough to see him back in Parliament once more.
A kind of mirror image of Nelson is found in Auckland Central.
Nikki Kaye, one of the dying breed of liberal-minded National MPs who was a perfect fit for the wealthy inner-city seat held until 2008 by Labour, will resign at this election. She was Todd Muller's deputy and chose to depart when he was replaced by Judith Collins.
After National managed a nasty internal battle over Nikki Kaye's replacement it seemed inevitable that Labour would regain the seat, until the Green Party announced that Chloe Swarbrick MP would be attempting to win the seat as an insurance policy against a sub 5 per cent result for that party.
Auckland Central voters will be guided by local polls, but a likely outcome is a Nelson 2017 result and the National candidate will win.
Hutt South, a long time Labour-held seat, was snatched by National's Chris Bishop with a majority of 1530 in an upset result in 2107.
It seems unlikely, however, given the poll numbers that he will hold on to the seat.
Bishop has been one of the few assets recruited by National in recent years and will be back in Parliament courtesy of his number seven placing on National's party list.
First term National MP Harete Hipango in Whanganui is defending a majority of just over 1700 and will be lucky to hang on. She faces Steph Lewis for the second time and her place at 21 on the National party list is unlikely to help.
In the same vote range is the seat of Northcote where a leaked poll had the Labour candidate ahead.
Labour list MP and Junior Whip Kieran McAnulty will be having his third run at the Wairarapa seat.
He reduced the departing National Party candidate's majority by more than half in 2017 and stands a good chance of winning the seat.
Tukituki is a mirror image of Wairarapa. Labour candidate Anna Lorck slashed Lawrence Yule's majority by a similar proportion in the 2017 election to a margin of 2813.
At an unwinnable number 33 on the National Party list, Lawrence Yule will need to hold on to Tukituki to return to Parliament.
One elector who will not be voting for Lawrence Yule is Lawrence Yule himself as he has again chosen not to reside in the electorate he seeks to represent.
When selecting candidates for the Labour Party, I strongly advised candidates to locate themselves where they wanted to get elected. I had research showing that to do otherwise cost support from undecided voters.
Yule clearly knows he is under threat and had launched some very peculiar advertising claiming credit for projects which have not happened.
With a month to go, there is still much water to go under the bridge, but it looks to me that Tukituki will the most fun to watch.
- Mike Williams grew up in Hawke's Bay. He is CEO of the NZ Howard League and a former Labour Party president.