Region's MPs tipped to retain their seats

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 24/02/2014
Iain Lees-Galloway
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ
LABOUR: Iain Lees-Galloway.
National Party candidate Ian McKelvie at the Feilding saleyards.
ROBERT KITCHIN/Fairfax NZ
NATIONAL: Ian McKelvie.

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Early betting on an online predictions website has placed Manawatu MPs Iain Lees-Galloway and Ian McKelvie as shoo-ins to return to Parliament.

Contracts for the Palmerston North, Rangitikei and Wairarapa electorates have been launched in the past fortnight. They join contracts for who will win Te Tai Hauauru, which was among the first electorates to be placed on the site.

The iPredict site is a stockmarket where, instead of betting on the performance of companies, investors bet on the outcome of news events. As of last night the site had given Labour candidate Adrian Rurawhe an 86.5 per cent chance of winning the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.

Mr Rurawhe, a former adviser to Mrs Turia, is a great-grandson of the founder of the Ratana movement. His main rival for the seat, Maori Party candidate Chris McKenzie, had only a 15 per cent chance of winning the seat.

However, the prices of the contracts have been volatile during the past week. Labour's chance of winning the seat had risen to above 80 per cent 12 days ago but on Monday the Maori Party had taken a slight lead.

Since last Monday support had swung again back behind Mr Rurawhe and Labour.

In Palmerston North the likelihood of Labour MP Mr Lees-Galloway holding the seat is at 93 per cent. National, which is yet to select a candidate, is standing at a 7 per cent chance of winning.

In Rangitikei, National and its MP Mr McKelvie is the clear leader, with an 88 per cent chance of holding the seat. Labour candidate Deborah Russell was at 12 per cent.

In Wairarapa, where new National list MP Joanne Hayes is seeking to replace the retiring, and unrelated, John Hayes, National is an 85 per cent favourite. Labour had, as of last night, a 15 per cent chance of taking the seat.

Contracts for Otaki are not yet available on the site.

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- Manawatu Standard

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