Auckland Central Election Heats Up: Swarbrick and Muralidhar in Dead Heat


In the lead-up to one of the closest elections Auckland Central has experienced in years, incumbent MP Chlöe Swarbrick and National’s candidate Mahesh Muralidhar are neck-and-neck in the polls, as per recent findings from the Taxpayers’ Union – Curia poll. The city is brimming with anticipation as the candidates square off in the Taxpayers’ Union sixth election debate this evening.

Heightening the election’s intensity, the poll results showed a hair-thin lead for the Green Party’s Swarbrick. However, considering the margin of error, it essentially translates into a statistical tie. From the 500 residents polled, Swarbrick saw 26% support, closely trailed by Muralidhar at 24%. Labour’s Oscar Sims, though an active participant in the race, trailed considerably, commanding a mere 12% support, while a significant 29% of the populace remained undetermined about their vote.

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Unsurprisingly, law and order emerged as the preeminent issue of concern for the Auckland Central voters. Other issues that warrant attention include the rising cost of living, issues with housing, and public transportation. And it wasn’t a two-person debate. Act’s Felix Poole, too, shared his views in this pivotal discussion moderated by Martyn Bradbury and Damien Grant, hosts of The Working Group podcast.

Each candidate aired their individual perspectives, focusing both on the current state of affairs and promising plans for the future. Act’s Felix Poole addressed rising crime rates, gun violence, and problems associated with gun registration. Labour’s Sims shared his dedication to making Auckland the “most liveable city in the world”, requesting effective action in law and order, renter’s rights, and climate change. However, it was Chloe Swarbrick who truly resonated with the gathered crowd as she acknowledged her honour to represent her community.

The poll results fluctuated, with National experiencing a minor dip, while the Green Party rose significantly. Act reflected a marginal fall, but interestingly, New Zealand First saw an uptake, positioning themselves within Parliament’s entry range.

The most prominent candidates in this race, apart from Swarbrick, Muralidhar, and Sims, were Felix Poole (Act) 25, and Damian Sycamore (TOP) 8. And within this heated political climate, Auckland Central extended from Herne Bay to the Domain, including Eden Terrace, and even the Waiheke and Great Barrier islands, doubling down on its position as even more critical.

Bracing for the upcoming elections, the Auckland Central electorate offered a unique mix of diversity and political engagement. Boasting of the highest proportion of overseas-born residents and with increased engagement among the age group of 25-34 years, Auckland’s political climate promises an engaging electoral race.

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