Here’s a morale booster for anyone who thought after today it might be a hard hill for Melissa Lee to climb in the Mt Albert by-election.
I just heard from the Mayor of Newmarket Cameron Brewer. His Worship is famously Tory having worked in the National Party Research Unit, in Shipley’s office, in fellow mayor John Banks’ office, then Rodney Hide, before retiring to his little principality of Newmarket where he spends most of his day googling himself.
When not googling “brewer” + “fashion capital” ( I just want to make sure this entry makes it to his Chong clippings so have to put in some key words) or wandering around Newmarket having boozy lunches and flirting with the shop girls, Brewer lives in Point Chevalier, the newest part of the Mt Albert electorate.
Anyway Brewer tells me that at about 7.30 tonight the Labour Party rang him. They told him up front who they were then asked him who he was voting for.
Brewer said “Melissa Lee” and then quickly but casually asked the caller how the poll was going. Amazingly the young guy told him it was “really close, about 50/50” (staggering when you consider Brewer had just told him he was voting for the National candidate).
Then Brewer asked if the close result was just from tonight, but the pollster said no they’d been polling for several days. Trying to supress his delight, Brewer asked what else was the poll showing? To which the Labour hack said “there are heaps of undecided voters.” Brewer, a former journalist and press secretary, says he wrote down those direct quotes from the Labour pollster word for word.
Rest assured, Labour are pulling out all the tricks, because they know this is a very close race!