The Labour incumbent and his mayoral chain-wearing challenger are neck and neck in the race for the Palmerston North electorate, a prediction website says.
Jono Naylor, the city's mayor and National's candidate for the city, had a 50 per cent chance on iPredict.co.nz yesterday of winning the seat. Incumbent Iain Lees-Galloway was on 49 per cent.
Backing for Lees-Galloway, who is preparing to open his campaign office, has fallen from as high as 93 per cent since the announcement last month that Naylor would run for National.
iPredict is a website where users invest money into potential outcomes in politics and current affairs. The price of buying shares in an outcome reflects the possibility users put in it happening.
In Rangitikei, National's Ian McKelvie was yesterday still a clear favourite online at 90.9 per cent, compared with Labour's Deborah Russell on 7.6 per cent.
Support for both candidates had dropped slightly in the past month.
National is also predicted to hold Otaki with Nathan Guy at 91.7 per cent compared with Labour's Rob McCann on 6.9 per cent.
Over in the Wairarapa seat, which includes the Tararua District, National has a 76.9 per cent chance of winning the seat, with Labour on 21.4 per cent.
In the Maori electorate of Te Hai Hauauru, Adrian Rurahe of Labour is an 83.2 per cent chance to win with Chris McKenzie of the Maori Party on 16.8 per cent.
As far as the overall election result National was given a 76 per cent likelihood of winning the September 20 election by traders, with Labour on 24 per cent.
- Manawatu Standard
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