In a realisation that this is no kind of result, weirdly, he tries to trumpet a 5.1% lead in a question on which unprompted Aucklander voters would most like to be mayor. Given Banks’ name recognition over Brown, to be only 5 points ahead on an unprompted question must be given his more thoughtful supporters (Aaron? Anyone?) sweaty sleeps.
This was followed by a prompted head-to-head question, which produced the statistical deadheat (trumpeted as a win by JB). The last poll David Farrar’s Curia Market Research firm did for Banks was weighted so that responses reflect turnout for the 2007 local govt elections. Assuming this poll has the same weighting, it demonstrates how important turn out will be.
Lord Mayor Banks’ campaign has had an odd few months. After employing a highly-paid team of PR spin-doctors to try and convince people he is not himself, he started the year constantly in the media. He then went very quiet, save for occasionally popping up over populist issues such as mining on Great Barrier, CCOs and Queens Wharf. It seems he’s tried to dampen interest in the campaign, while hoping to benefit from the much higher profile the Auckland mayor enjoys over the Manukau mayor due to the CBD-centricity of mainstream media.
But given his much higher profile and name recognition, he can only draw even with Brown.
Len Brown’s campaign has the feeling of a well planned insurgency. He comes across as level-headed, knowledgeable on issues facing the supercity, and offering a different, non-bombastic leadership style. As the campaign rolls on and his profile grows across the region, Banksie’s own sleepless nights will only multiply.