Maori Party leader Pita Sharples looks set to hold his seat in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate, according to a TVNZ poll out this afternoon.
Sharples’ main opposition, Labour MP Shane Jones, is on a distant 23 percent, indicating Sharples is likely to take out the Tamaki Makaurau electorate with less than three weeks until the election.
Despite leading the electorate vote by a clear margin, the Maori Party and Labour are currently neck-in-neck for the party vote, with Labour slightly ahead at 32 percent to the Maori Party’s 28%. National had 17% and Mana 13%.
Jones says the results show the Tamaki Makaurau voters are sophisticated, having worked out they can get “two for the price of one”.
“Maori seem to want to support Labour as a party but want the insurance policy of having an additional Maori candidate and in this case it’s Maori leader Pita Sharples,” he said.
The poll also indicated Maori voters were not happy with the Government’s performance, with 58 percent saying they do not think it is heading in the right direction and 43 percent feel their whanau is worse off under the current government.
However, Jones says while Maori are not happy with their current living conditions, they aren’t willing to blame the government for these issues.
“It would appear that although people’s living circumstances aren’t all that flash, they are not really all that keen on blaming the current government,” says Jones. “So that’s a puzzle to me.”
Those polled said said jobs and unemployment were the most important election issue, followed by education and then the economy. John Key was the most preferred Prime Minister on 28%.
The poll of 400 Maori roll voters between October 10 and November 1 has a margin of error of /- 4.9%.
* Te Karere is on TV ONE weekdays at 4pm.