A poll of 500 Auckland voters has revealed just how close the mayoral race is a few months out from voting day.
The Ratepayers’ Alliance-Curia poll, published by the Herald, has both Labour-endorsed candidate Efeso Collins and restaurateur Leo Molloy on 21.7%. Close in behind, former Heart of the City boss Viv Beck has 20.5% and businessman Wayne Brown lands on 20.1%.
Behind on 16% is Craig Lord, a candidate with prior experience running for Auckland mayor. He came third in the 2019 election.
Read more: Leo Molloy pledges ‘slugfest’ as first public poll for Auckland mayoralty shows dead heat
Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesman Josh Van Veen called on National to endorse a candidate, saying the party should get off the fence. “In the interests of local democracy, we are calling on the opposition to endorse a candidate for change in Auckland,” he said.
The de facto centre-right candidate at this stage is Beck, though she has not yet been endorsed by National’s local government arm in Auckland, Communities and Residents.
Molloy told the Herald the race was really just between him and Collins. “Wayne Brown is yesterday’s man… [Beck] is obviously going to capitulate and wave the white flag…and that will leave me. When it comes to a toe-to-toe slug out with Efeso there is only going to be one winner,” he said.
While the result for Collins could signify bad news considering his major party endorsement, he remained confident he could win.
“I think it’s important that whoever wants to make a case for the mayoralty has the opportunity to do so and Aucklanders can judge for themselves who they think is the best candidate for the job,” he said.