Labour on National, one thing is sure is the next MP for Northcote will be Māori.

The Northcote by-election is now in full swing, a safe National seat but this time there's a newcomer competing for the blue team.

Labour senses an opportunity, and with candidate Shannan Halbert saying he’s the underdog but has the support from the PM herself.

“We’re the underdog in this, but I believe it will come in close. We have great numbers on the ground and a supportive team of Labour activists and local community people who have gotten behind me.”

National is the biggest challenger and their man, economist Dan Bidois, says he is aware of the number one issue facing Northcote voters.

“Buses ferries to traffic down Onewa Road to second harbour crossings and sky path. We spend too much time in traffic and quite frankly we’ve had enough.”

Halbert says he is focused on housing for families in need especially those who need emergency housing.

“We’ve been talking about transport but what well see is housing becomes the greater issue in this by-election we are coming into winter well need more emergency housing for people that are struggling locally.”

The Northcote seat became vacant when Jonathan Coleman resigned.

He held the seat for five elections making it a National Party stronghold, and Bidois says he has some strong support behind him.

“So far we’ve delivered 30,000 flyers and put up over a 100 billboards around the electorate. We’ve door knocked over a thousand houses.”

ACT, Greens and the Democrats have candidates contesting the seat but it is seen as a two-horse race.

Voters will go to the polls on June 9.