city councillor Dave Cull appears to have surged ahead in the
mayoral race as the 2010 local government election nears its
The latest Otago Daily Times poll shows Cr Cull has
increased his lead to 54.2% among people contacted who had
decided on their preferred mayoral candidate. Two weeks ago,
he was at 45.9%.
Mayor Peter Chin has dropped from 37.4% to 31%.
Former councillor Lee Vandervis is third on 11.8%, and no
other candidates have reached 2%.
Cr Cull said yesterday to be able to win with more than 50%
of the vote would give him "a good mandate" to lead.
The second Otago Daily Times mayoral poll asked 568
people this week if they intended to vote in the mayoral
elections, which candidate they intended to give their first
Of those who intended to vote, 103 were still undecided, 252
said they planned to give Cr Cull their first preference, and
144 said they would give Mr Chin their first preference.
Surprisingly, about 90% said they planned to vote.
That figure varies with the 36% who had actually voted by
yesterday and the 55% of eligible Dunedin voters who are
expected to vote this year.
University of Otago political studies department senior
lecturer Dr Chris Rudd said there was no reason to suppose
those saying they would vote, but then did not, were more
likely to vote for just one of the two main contenders.
Similarly, there was no reason to suppose there would be a
late surge in support for just one of the two main
"And, unlike a national election when a final week leaders'
debate may turn the tables, no such event is planned for the
Dr Rudd said even given the margin of error, the trend
between the two polls was clearly towards Cr Cull.
Both candidates had advertised "heavily" in local newspapers,
and Cr Cull had plenty of hoardings, but those had evidently
cancelled each other out, and left Cr Cull in front.
Dr Rudd said it was a pity the closeness of the race,
compared with 2007, had not stimulated a greater projected
Cr Cull said the results should mean he would get the quota
needed for single transferable voting, so the STV system
would not come in to play.
"It reinforces the positive feedback we're getting."
He noted, though, the real count would be done on Saturday.
Mr Chin said last night he did not want to comment on the