Herald political commentator John Armstrong takes a look at the election campaign highs and lows.
Winston Peters, Colin Craig, Nicky Hager's publishers.
Judith Collins, Kim Dotcom, Jason Ede, Brendan Horan, the GCSB.
Winston Peters and New Zealand First. Brilliantly capitalised on Labour's malaise to make himself and his party relevant to what happens after the election, thereby maximising his exposure even more beforehand.
National. Back in Budget surplus, but in serious deficit when it comes to third-term vision. And internet-Mana. Took off like a rocket, then fizzled.
Most futile campaign
Act's Jamie Whyte did what he had to do: get Act to return to to basic libertarian principles. But the Act brand is dead.
The bad, the bad and the ugly
Winston Peters' tantrums on National Radio; minor parties which do not cost their promises; Brendan Horan; Labour's Rangitata candidate Steve "Shylock" Gibson; burning effigies of the Prime Minister; the Electoral Commission banning the Planet Key song.
Kim Dotcom's fake email which tried to drag the Prime Minister into a conspiracy theory about the extradition of the internet mogul to the United States.
David Cunliffe being caught out by John Key on the detail of Labour's planned capital gains tax.
Most improved performance
David Cunliffe. Slipped on capital gains tax banana skin, but otherwise grew in confidence, stature and gravitas during the campaign. Proved his mettle in TV debates with John Key. May yet become Prime Minister. But not this time.
Labour's David Parker. The perfect deputy. Did much to keep Labour's campaign on the straight and narrow. And National's Bill English. Made clear his distaste of the shenanigans of other party figures exposed in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics.
New Zealand First's "It's common sense".
Labour's uninspiring "Vote positive". Does anyone ever admit even to themselves that they are voting negative?
National's rowing ad. Used humour to entice the viewer to make a choice between National's hard-working crews slicing crisply through the water with the chaos on board a Labour, Greens and internet Mana-steered rowing boat. National's message? Don't rock the skiff by changing the crew.
The Greens' "Love New Zealand" theme. Too esoteric. Too abstract. Too imprecise.
"If he survived that, he could probably survive shooting little kittens in his garden with a shotgun, even if there is picture evidence of that." -- Kim Dotcom muses on John Key's escape from being tarred and feathered by the dirty politics scandal.