The race to be Whanganui's next MP appears to be going down to the wire.

Numbers from the New Zealand Herald's election forecast, which takes into account the trends in previous elections and polling data, shows National's Harete Hipango holding a 1.7 per cent lead over Labour's Steph Lewis.

It had Ms Hipango at a median of 44.6 per cent and Ms Lewis at 42.9 per cent.

New Zealand First's Reg Skipworth came in third at 6.1 per cent with Greens' Nicola Patrick at 2.78 per cent and Act's Alan Davidson on 0.04 per cent.


The margin at the top mirrors Labour's own internal polling which it released last week showing a 1.3 per cent lead for Ms Hipango with 18 per cent of respondent's undecided.

Meanwhile, a much less scientific Chronicle online poll run this week shows closer results than a similar poll run three weeks ago.

The poll asked readers to choose the candidate they intended to vote for at the September 23 general election.

It does not claim to predict who will win and is only an indication of what respondents might be thinking.

This week's online poll put Ms Lewis on 45 per cent (down seven points from three weeks ago) with Ms Hipango on 42 per cent (up five points).

Mr Davidson was stable on 2 per cent while Ms Patrick was down four points to 5 per cent.

Mr Skipworth, who wasn't announced when the first online poll was conducted, came in at 6 per cent.

Ms Lewis was unsurprised the by the numbers.

"I've said right from the outset that this is going to be an incredibly close election in this seat and that this is a winnable seat for Labour.

"It is going to be really, really close, I know that."

The Herald's election forcast tool showed better news for Labour when it came to the party vote in Whanganui.

It put Labour's local vote on 42.9 per cent with National on 39.9 per cent, NZ First on 10.1 per cent and the Greens on 4.69 per cent.