Competition in the Maori seats was supposed to be characterised by internecine warfare as the Mana and Maori Party cancelled each other out.
Both, plus Labour, have candidates in the seven electorates, and pundits said splitting votes between Mana and the Maori Party would allow Labour to pick up seats held by the Maori Party.
But largely that has not materialised. Instead, Te Karere's DigiPoll survey results indicate incumbents should be safe.
But two seats are interesting. The M&M battle applies clearly to Te Tai Tokerau, held by Mana leader Hone Harawira. His support has taken a hit from high-profile Maori Party candidate Waihoroi Shortland, but he still retains a lead over Labour's Kelvin Davis, which is likely to bring him home safely come Saturday.
Victoria University political scientist Maria Bargh said the cannibalised vote might not be a major feature of this election but it will happen.
"If [Mana] survives [to the 2014 election], they would have established themselves as a party that actually has a level of ability and infrastructure to compete, but at the moment I don't think they have that."
The Maori Party's Rahui Katene, who holds Te Tai Tonga, is considered vulnerable and the Mana/Maori split has had an effect.
Te Karere's DigiPoll survey released this week put Mrs Katene at 46 per cent support, Labour's Rino Tirikatene at 35 per cent, and Mana's Clinton Dearlove at 9 per cent. Crucially, the Green Party's Dora Langsbury has 10 per cent.
In the closest Maori electorate result in 2008, Hauraki Waikato had the same margin. Mrs Katene took 45 per cent of the vote to 40 per cent for Labour's Mahara Okeroa.
Political commentator Willie Jackson thinks Mrs Katene will lose to Labour's Rino Tirikatene, who has a strong legacy surname - 10-term parliamentarian Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan was his aunt.
"Tirikatene will basically take the seat by default. The Mana candidate [Dearlove] is good for 10 to 15 per cent, and that's the last thing Rahui needed. She becomes a statistic of the Mana/Maori fight."
Her strong performance for Maori during the Canterbury quakes will work in her favour; in Wellington, she is a workhorse.
Another war casualty is the Maori Party's ability to win all seven seats. Never say never, but it will be hard going with the choice now available to Maori roll voters.
Poor, working-class Maori, plus those who gravitate towards Mr Harawira's brand of activism, are a natural Mana fit. That sets it apart from the conservatism of a good deal of Maori Party supporters, Dr Bargh said.
"The older, more conservative in the Maori Party would never look at Mana. These are people who look at Hone Harawira and Annette Sykes as radical with a capital R. For them the Maori Party strikes that balance of conservatism and pro-Maori."
Mr Jackson says Mana still has the ability to come out of the war victors, particularly if Mrs Katene loses her seat and Mana's Annette Sykes comes in on the list.
That would be a disastrous scenario for the Maori Party, which in a year could reduce from five to three MPs while Mana gains two - Mr Harawira would consider that a win, he says. It is still a long shot.
Labour faces its own problems.
One, which is less pressing, is who will succeed Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta once they decide to quit politics. Both seats are safe for Labour until they decide to hand in their notice.
After that, the seats are fair game.
Off the back of Mr Davis' performance in this year's Tai Tokerau byelection - he didn't win but he cut Mr Harawira's majority significantly - Labour leader Phil Goff said he believed his party could win all seven seats.
Fighting talk, but it does not seem there was ever a plan to make it happen. Labour's candidates have had a tough road seizing the election in a way that matters to voters. Dr Bargh said Maori Party voters were beginning to forget what the party stood for in terms of Maori issues.