The Chronicle has launched a new online poll.

It asks which candidate people intend to vote for in the September 23 general election.

It does not canvas the party vote, and deals only with the Whanganui electorate. It makes no pretence at being scientific or a credible predicter of how things will unfold in September.

But as a barometre of how people might be thinking it is of interest.


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At the time of writing Labour's Steph Lewis was polling at 49 per cent and ahead of National's Harete Hipango on 40 per cent. The Greens Nicola Patrick had 10 per cent support while Act's Alan Davidson languished on one per cent.

Those figures will of course change as the poll runs its course.

Voting is restricted to one vote per person to reduce the risk of the results being manipulated. The system though is not foolproof. Mustering party supporters to vote in the poll is one way the results could be misleading.

Also the Chronicle poll may not be as well read in South Taranaki where National support tends to be strongest.

Nonetheless Ms Hipango and her electorate team will no doubt be watching. A ten per cent deficit, even in an aribitary online poll, is not good news for her aspirations to take over from Chester Borrows as local MP.

National won the electorate with a 4000 vote majority. But that counts for little three years on. Things have changed on many fronts, issues have changed and so have the personalities.

One other item of note is the support for Nicola Patrick. She has said she does not expect to win and has only stood as a candidate to be able to campaign for party votes. She told the Chronicle in March that she intends to remain in Whanganui and a regional councillor.

But her name will be on the voting papers come ballot time and any votes she receives will in effect be wasted. Given the alliance between the Greens and Labour perhaps she should now consider withdrawing her candidacy.

With 10 per cent early support those are votes Steph Lewis may well need.