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Friday, 26 April 2019 01:30 am

Bets are on for Capital’s two mayor race

mayoral race mainNEWS media and political bookies perfectly predicted Wellington’s mayoral race would be a near dead heat between Kerry Prendergast and Celia Wade-Brown.

The election photo finish had incumbent Mayor Prendergast with an election night lead of 40 votes over maiden mayoralty hopeful Ms Wade-Brown.

The latter was right when she said: “It’s a two-mayor race – if you can bear that pun.”

Last week’s Dominion Post reader poll put Kerry Prendergast a nose ahead of Celia Wade-Brown  (by eight percentage points), with one-in-four voters still undecided.

The Dominion Post predicted rightly: “A late swing by last-minute voters could yet determine the outcome and even unseat the three-term incumbent.

“Ms Prendergast said the poll was unscientific and her own polling results were much higher – ‘I’m significantly ahead’,” reported the Dominion Post.

The Wellingtonian said it was going to be close, and Ms Wade-Brown would be a tough competitor.

It was also accurate in backing third place-getter Jack Yan.

“Yan could be the dark horse – he has no political background on which to gauge form.”

The Sunday Star Times asked if the long rei(g)n of Mayor Prendergast was finally drawing to an end.

It safely answered its question with a – “maybe”.

Wade-Brown was the most serious opponent Queen Kerry had ever faced, reported the Sunday paper.

The Capital Times named Mayor Prendergast as the favourite, based on the first three mayoral candidate meetings.

Political blogger David Farrar said Mayor Prendergast would win.

But Mr Farrar’s election bets have proved expensive, losing $2500 on iPredict backing Jim Anderton in the Christchurch City mayoralty bid.

The online prediction market has 64.57% odds on Ms Prendergast keeping the mayoralty against Ms Wade-Brown.

Jack Yan has his wager on the latter, and has already sent her a preliminary congratulations.

“The special votes are to be counted, so let’s keep believing that we have a new mayor mid-week!” co-editor Alistair Thompson has published an open letter to congratulating Ms Wade-Brown and urging her to insist on a full recount.

“I expect you to be the next mayor of Wellington regardless of what happens in the end in this race.”

Mayor Prendergast has said she will not be standing again.

Both she and her rival said they believe the special votes will put them respectively ahead.

The final results will be officially notified on tomorrow. Until then, the online “magic eight ball”, when asked “Will Wellington get a new mayor?” answered: “Outlook good.”

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  1. This was an interesting examination of the race. However, I’ve seen the Fairfax Press give me anything from third to fifth—and from memory it only gave me third once. So the media in fact got it wrong most of the time, as they did when they placed Mayor Prendergast comfortably ahead of Councillor Wade-Brown in the majority of polls. I don’t recall a poll where the two were neck in neck, although our own campaign (with small samples) indicated the race was far tighter than the media reported.

    It shows that one had to be in the action to get a better feeling on how the candidates would perform, as I felt that the media actually proved unreliable.

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