The Conservative Party is rolling out the big guns in the city in a week's time to support their surprise Whanganui candidate.

Kim MacIntyre will carry the party flag here after his candidacy was confirmed on Wednesday, the day nominations closed.

The husband of Christine Rankin, who will contest the Epsom seat in Auckland for the party, Mr MacIntyre will visit on September 6. With him will be party leader Colin Craig, Ms Rankin and Garth McVicar, who are ranked first, second and third respectively on the party list.

Ms Rankin told the Chronicle the team will be on city streets in the morning as a lead-up to a public meeting that afternoon. A time and venue for that meeting has still to be confirmed.


The Conservatives have named candidates in 64 electorates but Mr MacIntyre does not feature on the party list, which means to get into Parliament he must win the Whanganui seat. The seat is currently held by National's Chester Borrows with a 5046 majority.

But Ms Rankin told the NZ Herald the party was realistic enough to know Mr MacIntyre was not expected to win.

"We don't have any illusions about that. But we didn't want to leave the seat vacant," she said. "We haven't got a party organisation there and didn't have a local candidate. Kim standing there gives the people a name and the party some visibility."

The Conservatives got a fillip on Wednesday with a 3 News/Reid Research poll lifting it close to the 5 per cent threshold it needs to get into Parliament.

The party surged to 4.6 per cent - up more than 2 points - with Mr Craig telling Radio NZ that the rise was coming from grassroot support in the regions.

He said the party was "hunting down" the 5 per cent party vote and believed it would achieve the goal.

The poll had NZ First up 1.7 points to 6.3 per cent, while support for National Party dropped by 2.5 points to 45 per cent, with Labour taking another hit, falling 2.6 points to 26.4 per cent. The Green Party got 13.5 per cent support, while Internet Mana had 2.1 per cent.

The survey, which polled 1000 people, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.