NZ election 2020: Record number of early votes as parties battle down home stretch

In just a week we'll be poised to discover which Government New Zealand has elected.

With a record number of early votes in, the complexion of this election is already looking very different.

So far 700,000 people have cast an early ballot. And with that in mind the leaders of both major parties headed out to capture every remaining vote they could.

Both Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins went to markets on Saturday - one of them mobbed by red, the other smothered in blue.

This is the home stretch, one final weekend and one final push for votes. Weekend markets are a prime opportunity to find every last voter they can.

Collins was popular in National-friendly Howick.

"This is a week to go after absolutely every single party vote we can," she told Newshub.

But it was hard to contend with the Labour-friendly south Auckland vibe. There was a right royal welcome for Ardern in Mangere who received a floral tribute.

"I'm pleased that I could stand up with the weight of these beautiful flowers," she said.

And the Otara Markets - open for the first time this campaign, having been closed to COVID - turned it on.

With just seven days of voting left Ardern received precisely the sort of final photo op she wants - absolutely thronged by supporters.

And Collins got precisely the opposite - another errant MP.

National MP Alfred Ngaro posted false information about Labour's drug and abortion policies. Collins swooped in to clean up after him.

"It's been taken down. I spoke to Alfred this morning," she said. "He's someone who passionately believes exactly what he's put up there and I don't and nor does the party."

There has been record numbers of early voting - more than 700,000 so far. Ardern thinks that might indicate more voters up for grabs.

"It might be too early to say but enrolment and advance voting suggests the numbers may be higher," she said.

But even with record numbers the Nats are downsizing expectations. Last night Newshub revealed they'd changed the location of their election night party to a significantly smaller venue.

"[We're going to] get out there and party and we expect to be partying hard," Collins told Newshub.

She'll find out if she gets the job she desperately wants - Prime Minister - next week.