Local elections 2022: Leo Molloy claims National Party offered to publicly endorse him for Auckland mayor as shock poll reveals he's a frontrunner

Leo Molloy is claiming National offered to publicly endorse him for Auckland mayor, but he won't reveal who contacted him from the Party.

Molloy's comments came after a poll released on Friday revealed he and Labour councillor Efeso Collins are the frontrunners for mayor. 

The Ratepayers' Alliance-Curia mayoral poll has Collins and Molloy each on 21.7 percent, while Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck is on 20.5 percent. Businessman Wayne Brown was slightly behind Beck on 20.1 percent and freelance media operator Craig Lord was on 16 percent.

Beck and Molloy joined AM on Friday to discuss the poll results. Speaking with AM's Ryan Bridge, Molloy said Beck should step aside because he had National's support - a claim the Party hasn't backed up. 

Beck hit back pointing out she was the only one who had actually stated she was centre-right, whereas Molloy hadn't. 

When asked where he sat politically, Molloy said he traverses the spectrum. 

"That's the beauty about Leo," he told Bridge. "I appeal to all of Auckland. I'm fiscally responsible but socially liberal so I represent everybody."

Molloy went on to claim "all the Nats" had reached out to him to offer him public endorsement but he had turned them down.  

He went on to accuse Beck of playing political Tinder to get National's endorsement. 

"Viv's been playing for three months and no one is swiping right. They're all swiping right on me, they all want me," he said.  

"The whole lot want me and I have said, 'No, I don't want to be pigeonholed by you, I want to appeal to all'."

When asked to clarify who in the National Party had contacted him, Molloy said "everybody" was talking to him. 

"It didn't come from Chris Luxon but there's clearly a lot of momentum behind me.

"Everybody is talking to me, everybody has decided that I am the one," he said. 

A spokesperson for National leader Christopher Luxon said there had been no change in the Party's policy and it did not endorse local candidates. 

Meanwhile, Beck used her time on the show to call on National to publicly endorse her to make things clear to voters. 

"I think actually in this case it would help to have an endorsement. Citizens and Ratepayers are effectively the local body arm and they have certainly been supporting me, it's up to them how and when they declare that but I think it is helpful for voters to know that," she said.