Election 2014

21 Nov 2011

Quake could change election result in Christchurch East

9:25 am on 21 November 2011

The Christchurch East electorate has been a safe Labour seat for a number of years, but the earthquake may mean it becomes a closer race.

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Incumbent MP Lianne Dalziel holds the electorate with a majority of more than 5000 votes, but her National Party rival says population movement could change things this time.

Ms Dalziel says the quake is most definitely the main issue on people's minds in her electorate.

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"I think the main issue has been the lack of communication, so a lot of people don't understand why particular decisions have been made. They have felt pretty excluded from the whole decision-making process."

National Party candidate Aaron Gilmore says the earthquakes have changed the make up of electorate, with about 4000 people lost off the electoral roll from the last election.

"Take places like Bexley, for example. Bexley has never come close to voting National, but a large number of people have left the suburb for other electorates. That's positive for me, as Labour voters have left."

Ms Dalziel says the movement of the population will mean fewer people will vote than in previous elections, but the feedback she has had is that she has strong support from people from across the political spectrum.

"People have seen that I have performed in a way that a Member of Parliament should be able to perform even from opposition."

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The spokesperson for the Bexley residents association says what people in the east will be weighing up on election day is whether they think they have been treated fairly.

Aileen Trist says they will be asking who has been listening and who has been helping them get on with starting a new life.

"Personally, I think Bexley and the east would have been lost without Lianne Dalziel, she's been an absolute soldier."

Mr Gilmore says there is no doubt that Lianne Dalziel has done good work in the east.

However, he says this election looks very different to prior contests and National will be pushing for every vote it possibly can.