The Greens’ Chloe Swarbrick is leading Labour’s Helen White in the coveted seat of Auckland Central with half the votes counted.
She holds a lead of 469 votes with 7308 votes. Labour’s Helen White is second with 6839 votes, and National’s Emma Mellow has 5693 votes.
Swarbrick told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking she put her lead down to a community-based campaign.
She said the Green Party is stoked with its 8.2 per cent of the party vote, which translates into 11 seats in Parliament.
Two weeks ago, White was in front in a Q + A Colmar Brunton poll on 35 per cent, Mellow was on 26 per cent, and Swarbrick was third on 26 per cent.
White ran in the seat in 2017, coming within 1581 votes of Kaye, who had held the seat since 2008 when she beat Labour’s Judith Tizard, becoming the first National MP to win the seat.
Swarbrick, who ran a “two ticks” campaign, was unfazed by the Greens’ poor electorate vote in 2017 and threw herself into winning the seat – as insurance in case the Greens did not make it over the 5 per cent party vote threshold to return to Parliament and a burning desire to represent Auckland Central.
“What else is the point of politics, if it is not to practise the art of the possible,” Swarbrick told the Herald last month.
Mellow, a 30-year-old communications manager at ANZ bank, was selected late in the piece following a messy and bungled process by party officials.
White, who grew up in Freemans Bay and lives outside the electorate in nearby Morningside, practices as a barrister at Chancery Chambers in the central city specialising in employment law.
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