Following weeks of topsy-turvy polls in the lead-up to Saturday's general election comes another surprise result showing National could romp in without a coalition partner.

However, there's no need for opposition parties to get too nervous - this poll was conducted by the kids of a Kerikeri school where only a handful of students are old enough to vote.

The mock election was staged at Springbank School with about 160 students in Years 5-13 casting party and electorate votes after spending class time researching candidates and party policies.

Two real-life Northland candidates, Willow-Jean Prime (Labour) and Matt King (National), spoke to the students while the votes were tallied.


The party vote was dominated by National (69 votes) with Labour trailing on 28, the Greens on 8, and NZ First and the Internet Party on 6. Other parties collected no more than 4 votes.

The electorate vote was won by National's Matt King with 67 votes, followed by Willow-Jean Prime on 43, Winston Peters 25 (NZ First), Peter Hughes (Green) 9, Craig Nelson (Act) 3, and Mel Taylor (Conservative) 2.

Twelve-year-old Rebecca Nugteren, of Kerikeri, said her key issues were education, taxes and debt. She was concerned Labour would add to New Zealand's debt so cast her vote for National.

Kurtis Foster, 18, of Okaihau, was one of a few students who will vote for the first time on Saturday. He also voted National, saying Labour's plans to boost the minimum wage would hurt businesses and could cost him his part-time job.

Jack Hittle, 13, of Tapuaetahi, voted Labour because he wanted to see rivers cleaned up and poverty reduced. It would be hard to lift Northland's economy as long as a lot of people were being left behind, he said.

Principal Mike Warren emphasised the importance of exercising one's democratic rights.

The mock election was just like the real thing and would give students a good idea of how voting worked.