He's dealt with plenty of sticks and stones in his long political career, but Jim Anderton may yet find that names will hurt him.

The Progressive Party leader is considered the front-runner to become the Christchurch mayor at the coming election ahead of the incumbent, former This is Your Life television host Bob Parker.

However, a hiccup for Mr Anderton - especially with a "very close" race predicted by his own camp - could be in the form of a lesser-known candidate, Blair Anderson.

Mr Anderton told the Herald his team had calculated that he had lost 500 votes to Mr Anderson in parliamentary elections, which they put down to confusion over the similar surnames and a similar party name adopted by Mr Anderson.

In the vote for the Wigram electorate during the 2002 general election, Mr Anderson listed his party as the PCP Coalition, in a dig at Mr Anderton's Progressive Coalition Party.

Mr Anderton said even one of his own campaign workers had accidentally voted for Mr Anderson.

Asked whether the naming issue was of concern leading into the mayoral election, Mr Anderton was reluctant to discuss it further, saying he did not want to give any "air-time" to Mr Anderson.

"Blair is one of those people who just wants the limelight for the limelight's sake."

Mr Anderson told the Herald he was not trying to win votes by confusion, but rather hold the "powerbrokers" like Mr Anderton to account.

He added that Mr Anderton was "welcome to change his name by deed poll if he wishes".