A new Taxpayers’ Union – Curia poll in the Ilam Electorate has National reclaiming their former Christchurch stronghold comfortably, with 33% of the electorate vote. Labour’s Sarah Pallett is currently sitting on 15%, while Raf Manji, the leader of The Opportunities Party is polling at 14% – a statistical tie for second place.
Among minor parties, 5% of respondents would vote for the Greens candidate Mark Davidson, while 5% and 4% of voters said they would vote for ACT and Te Pāti Māori respectively, despite those parties not standing candidates in Ilam. NZ First and other parties are polling under 2%. 23% of voters, however, are either undecided or refused to answer.
The poll of 400 respondents was conducted on Wednesday, 23 August 2023. The full results, including the most important local issues for voters, are available here.
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, says:
“This poll shows a sharp swing away from Labour, after they unexpectedly won this seat at the last election from then deputy leader of National, Gerry Brownlee. While a snapshot of public sentiment rather than a concrete prediction of October’s election, it spells bad news for Labour backbencher and electorate MP Sarah Pallett, who is unlikely to be re-elected on the list, as well as Raf Manji, who carries the hopes of The Opportunities Party on his shoulders in trying to improve on his results as an independent candidate in 2017. Both will need to break out from their competition if they want to stand a chance against the popular Dr Hamish Campbell, running for National and replacing Gerry Brownlee.
“However, each of the candidates are struggling with name recognition in this remarkably locally focused election, with all three top-polling candidates having less than 40% visibility within the electorate. With 18% of the electorate undecided, and plenty of time to go before the election, this race is sure to be an interesting one.”
Source: The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union