Brown ahead in Super City mayoral contest October 03, 2010 - interesting finale.
There has been a flurry of last minute interest from Aucklanders in the battle to lead the new Super City.
Votes returned so far are up nearly 5% from the last election, with numbers expected to increase as Saturday's deadline approaches.
The electoral headquarters has seen a recent torrent of votes in the first definitive sign that Aucklanders care about who will be at the helm of New Zealand's first Super City.
The numbers have impressed electoral office director Dale Ofsoske, who now has high hopes for an even greater turnout.
"This time three years ago in the voting period we were at 22%, so we're about five percentage points up which is good.
"I think we'll achieve between a 45 and 50% turnout which I'm pleased with," he said.
The high turnout is adding further fuel to the tight may oral race, with the latest polls putting Manukau's Len Brown well ahead of main rival John Banks.
However, in spite of the early results Prime Minister John Key is standing behind Banks, telling TVNZ's Breakfast show that he still has what it takes.
"They poll on people who don't show up. It's also one of the reasons why the Greens always poll well.
"John Banks can win it, he can definitely win it."
Close mayoral races are also expected in the main South Island centres.
Voting numbers are so far up by 4.5% in Dunedin, with incumbent mayor Peter Chin and city councillor Dave Cull locked in a two-horse race, and the fight between Bob Parker and Jim Anderton has seen voting in Christchurch rise by nearly 5%.