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Chauvel supporters stand at electorate crossroads

Nov 19th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

TWENTY volunteers are spending up to four hours a day at Ohariu electorate intersections hoping to influence what looks like being one of the tightest election contests.

In the most recent poll of the electorate, their man Charles Chauvel (Labour) appears to be closing in on incumbent Peter Dunne (United Future), who has held the seat for 25 years.

Polling shows there is less than a two point difference between them.

In a final push to close the gap, the volunteers have committed to having small groups on sites around Khandallah and Ngaio twice a day.

Volunteer Kaine Thompson says he came to the campaign not just as a Labour supporter, but because he believes strongly that Mr Chauvel is the right representative for Ohariu.

“Having a candidate to stand behind is good motivation.”

The sun shines on Charles Chauvel supporters (from front) Geoff Hayward, David Hollander, Julie Casidy, Barbara Buckett and Alana Bowman.

When asked how they perceive this campaign, the feeling among the volunteers is that the voters of Ohariu may be ready for a fresh face as their representative.

They disagree with the analysis of voter patterns given by Act leader Don Brash, on TV Ones Leaders Debate on Wednesday night.

Mr Brash said people automatically vote for the candidate that waves their preferred party’s flag.

Kaine says voters who keep themselves well informed populate the Ohariu electorate.

“The interest in candidates is high, with maybe a little less influence from the national level.”

Volunteer Geoff Hayward says they’ve been receiving great feedback from passing voters. “The amount of people who have been positive on the street – there is a very warm feeling of support.”

Kaine and Chauvel’s partner, David Hollander, agree, saying the time and effort Chauvel has put in to the electorate are starting to be recognised.

“He has worked his guts out.” says Kaine

They dismiss criticism Mr Dunne has leveled at candidates who live outside their electorates, citing Mr Chauvel’s interest in local schools, community groups and northern suburbs transport issues.

“John Key lives outside his electorate and so does Bill English,” says Kaine

“They wouldn’t have been re-elected to those electorates if they hadn’t done a good job. It’s not about where you live, it’s about the work you do.”

Supporters Geoff Hayward (left) and Kaine Thompson put their best foot forward.


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