New Zealand's election campaign goes to the dogs

Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:27am EDT
 
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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A pet food company has come up with a novel way of gauging the public mood ahead of the New Zealand's general election -- which political leader would you like to see fed to the dogs?

Masterpet has made rubber chew toys for dogs with likenesses to the two politicians vying to run the country after the November 8 election, website www.stuff.co.nz has reported.

Masterpet said it will publish sales of the Helen Clark and John Key toys as an informal "dog tucker poll." Whoever sells the most could be in trouble come election night.

"Early data in our reverse poll suggests a preference for (Prime Minister) Helen Clark," Masterpet North Island sales manager Peter Couchman told Stuff.co.nz.

So far Masterpet's poll mirrors actual opinion polls, which show Clark's Labour-led government trailing the main opposition National party, led by Key.

A Reuters survey of five polls has National on 50 percent support compared to 36.3 percent for Labour.

(Reporting by Adrian Bathgate; Editing by Alex Richardson)