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Dunne unperturbed by poll plummet

Newshub logoNewshub 13/08/2017 Cleo Fraser

United Future leader Peter Dunne could be about to lose his seat, according to a new poll.

The veteran MP risks being toppled by Labour's Ōhāriu candidate and former Police Association boss Greg O'Connor.

He's a newcomer to politics but a Q&A poll out on Sunday has him 14 points ahead of Mr Dunne for the west Wellington seat.

However, he's not counting his chickens just yet.

"It's early days and anyone who watches politics around the world knows how quickly things can change," Mr O'Connor told Newshub.

© Image - Getty; Video - Newshub.

Meanwhile, National is clearly worried about the fate of its support partner, sending out instructions this week to its voters, calling on them to back Mr Dunne.

"You're in a position to ensure National retains a proven and reliable partner in Peter Dunne," the letter from its Ōhāriu candidate Brett Hudson said.

National's endorsement of Dunne is surprisingly strong. In past elections, it's opted for something more subtle, like a cup of tea, to send a message to voters.

But Mr Hudson's letter is plain and simple: Don't vote for me, vote for Peter.

Mr Dunne rejected Newshub's request for an interview, but his spokesperson told us he wasn't worried and still had the support of his community.

He said the letter wasn't a desperate move, pointing out the Greens weren't even running a candidate in a bid to help Labour.

Ōhāriu voters seem split on what to do about Dunne, with those Newshub spoke to varying between saying he was tried and true as the local MP, to saying there was a need for "fresh blood".

What this electorate decides on September 23 could be crucial to the shape of the next Government.

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