Latest polling puts Maori Party candidate Rahui Katene ahead in the race for Te Tai Tonga, but Labour remains a close second.
The Te Karere Digipoll out today has Katene on 46 per cent with Labour candidate Rino Tirikatene second on 35 per cent.
Mana Party candidate Clinton Dearlove is well behind on 9 percent, while the Green’s Dora Langsbury is on 10 per cent and she is only campaigning for the party vote.
The poll questioned 400 Maori roll voters and had a margin of error of 4.9 per cent.
A note from the pollsters suggested Katene’s support was stronger amongst young voters, those aged 18-39, while Tirikatene had more supporters in the 40-59 age group.
Te Tai Tonga covers the entire South Island and Wellington and has been marked as likely to be one of the closest finishes in the seven Maori seats.
Katene won the seat in 2008 with a margin of 1049.
But Tirikatene comes from a strong Labour background – his grandfather was Eruera Tirikatene and aunt Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan.
While the poll out today shows Katene in front, Labour was ahead in the party vote; 36 per cent compared to the Maori Party on 25.
National was on 15, Greens 12, Mana seven and New Zealand first three.
Despite a reasonably low party vote, National leader John Key was the preferred prime minister on 29 per cent, followed by Labour’s Phil Goff on 10 per cent.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei were on six per cent, and Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia and Mana Party’s Hone Harawira were on four.
Sharples was the most favoured Maori MP on 26 per cent.
In Katene’s own electorate just 8 per cent ranked her as their favourite Maori MP.
Most people, 55 per cent, felt the Government was not headed in the right direction and 46 per cent thought they were worse off under the current Government.