The battleground seats

Which are the electorates that will be most hotly contested in this election?

Interesting analysis of some battleground states by the NZPA today. MMP has taken the political and media focus off electorates, and to be honest I kind of miss that. Your local MP should still matter as your personal representative, so it's good to see the Press Association spending some time on the closest races.

They start with Tauranga, which really does surprise me. The story itself concedes that Mr Peters is facing an uphill battle with the only published poll on the seat showing him trailing National's candidate Simon Bridges by 20 points.

The Herald this morning also picked the sunshine city as a "cliffhanger" seat. The city has changed so much in recent years, change bought about by the nasty immigrants that New Zealand First has fought so hard to keep out, that it's hard to imagine Winston Peters regaining his former powerbase from National. He doesn't fit the city anymore.

Much more interesting suggestions include Taupo, where former minister Mark Burton could lose his seat and, given his low list ranking, his place in the House; and the old swing seat of Hamilton-West.

PA also say Epsom is a close call. They're obviously not reading Pundit.

Also worth noting, there are six new parties on offer this year; 19 registered parties and 681 brave individuals doing their bit for democracy.