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Research Results

Exit poll puts Brown well ahead of Banks

26 Sep 10

Exit poll puts Brown well ahead of Banks

Auckland Mayoral candidate Len Brown has a strong lead over rival John Banks in the first HorizonPoll survey of those who have so far voted in the first super city elections.


The weighted survey of 570 city voters, conducted on Thursday and Friday (September 23-24), shows 49% of those who’ve already returned their ballot papers supporting Brown, 22% Banks. Support has also built for Colin Craig, with 11%.


Among the 72% who have not voted, 36% say they will vote Brown and 21% Banks.

Some 19% of those who have yet to vote say they don’t know.


When asked for their preferences, they split evenly at 11% each for Banks and Brown.


Asked who they think will actually win after voting closes on October 9, 34% think Brown will win, 23% Banks.


This represents a large shift in perception since the last HorizonPoll, conducted between August 21 and September 14, which showed that while Brown then had 29% of decided voters and Banks 17%, 7% more thought Banks would win on the day.


Based on international research, comparing those who say they will vote with those who actually do, HorizonPoll estimates the final turnout could be about 59%.


In the seven sub cities of the new Auckland Council area Brown leads Banks in all but the North Shore and Rodney.


Among the 28% who say they’ve voted, Brown leads in Auckland City, Franklin, Manukau and Waitakere. Banks leads in the North Shore and Rodney. Because of smaller sample sizes these sub city results are indicative only at this stage.


By ethnic group among those yet to vote, Banks has stronger appeal to Asians (37% to 27%) and Indians (48% to 24%), while Brown is appealing more to those who describe themselves as European-Pakehas (32% to Banks’ 21%) and Maori (where Brown has 62% and Banks’ support is too small to register) and Pacific Islanders (Brown 56%, Banks 29%).


Among those who have voted so far, Banks is failing to carry those who voted National at the 2008 at the last general election. Brown has 45% of 2008 National voters, Banks 33%. Among 2008 Labour voters Brown has 73%, Banks 29%.


Aucklanders think the election campaign and process has raised important issues for Auckland (40%), 7% say they have attended a campaign meeting or debate, 2% have worked for a candidates’ campaign, and 1% have donated to a candidate.


As a measure of interest in the campaign, 35% say it’s more important than the last local body one.


Some 28% believe the election is exciting or very exciting (5%), while 43% say it’s not very exciting and 22% think it’s boring.


The survey is weighted age, gender, ethnicity, employment status, personal income and party vote 2008. It has a maximum margin of error at the 95% confidence level of +/- 4.1%.