23 Sep 2008

Dog tucker poll tests political winds

6:45 pm on 23 September 2008

A pet food company has come up with a novel way of gauging the public mood in the leadup to the election - which political leader would dog owners like to see fed to their pets?

Masterpet has made rubber chew toys for dogs with likenesses to the two politicians vying to run the country after 8 November.

The company said it would publish sales of the Helen Clark and John Key toys as an informal "dog tucker poll". Whichever toy sells more could spell trouble for its real-life character on election day.

"Early data in our reverse poll suggests a preference for (Prime Minister) Helen Clark," says Masterpet's North Island sales manager, Peter Couchman.

To date, Masterpet's poll mirrors actual opinion polls, which show a Labour-led government trailing the National Party.

One survey of five recent polls puts National on 50% support compared with Labour on 36.3%.