Businessman Wayne Brown has leap-frogged Labour-endorsed Efeso Collins to take a handy lead in the Auckland mayoral race, according to a Q and A Kantar poll this morning.
It is the second poll in five days that puts Brown in front after a Ratepayers' Alliance-Curia poll on Wednesday gave him a narrow 2-point lead over the Manukau councillor.
The current affairs television show conducted two polls for the Super City contest - one before mayoral candidate Viv Beck pulled out of the race and one after.
In the poll before Beck called it a day on September 16, Collins was ahead in the race with a 5-point lead over Brown, but the tables were turned in the second poll with Brown taking a 6-point lead.
The poll of 1000 Aucklanders had Collins on 29 per cent and Brown on 24 per cent in the first poll, and the second poll showed support surging for Brown to 35 per cent, while Collins' support remained static on 29 per cent.
Over the two polls, support for Beck, whose name remains on voting papers, fell six points from 14 per cent to 8 per cent. Craig Lord fell from 10 per cent to 8 per cent over the two polls.
The latest Kantar poll mirrors the last three Ratepayers' Alliance-Curia polls showing momentum building for Brown. Since July, support for the former Far North District major has surged from 15 per cent to 35 per cent.
Much of the rise can be attributed to a crowded field of four right-leaning candidates being whittled down and voters coalescing around Brown. Last month, restaurateur Leo Molloy pulled out after a poll showed him dropping from second to third place, and Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck quit after her campaign went off the rails over revelations of a $353,000 unpaid bill.
The Kantar poll shows Collins' support is up from 26 per cent in last Wednesday's Ratepayers' Alliance poll, but remains stuck in the 20s. This is well short of the 50 per cent support Labour-endorsed mayors Len Brown and Phil Goff secured in each of their two mayoral wins.
The Kantar poll confirmed findings in the latest Ratepayers' Alliance poll that the vote-rich block of over-60s favour Brown, as do National and Act supporters, men and European New Zealanders.
Labour and Green Party supporters, Pasifika and middle-aged women favour Collins.
The Kantar poll found just 32 per cent of Aucklanders have confidence in Auckland Council to meet their needs and 55 per cent had mixed positive and negative impressions of the Super City. Just 12 per cent described the impact as positive and 25 per cent were negative.
Collins' flagship policy of free public transport had 51 per cent support with 38 per cent opposed. And just 30 per cent of respondents liked the idea of turning over more road space to bicycles. The poll found 61 per cent were opposed.
Aucklanders were equally divided on Government directives - supported by National - for greater housing intensification with 42 per cent in support and 44 per cent opposed.
The mayoral poll was based on people who are very or fairly likely to vote and expressed a candidate preference. About half the respondents were undecided. The two polls have a margin of error off 3.1 per cent.
Voting in the postal election closes at midday on October 8.