The smaller parties in Parliament are skirting with political oblivion as the face being squeezed out of the race by the surging Labour Party and the shift from the usual campaign messages to the greater focus on the Covid-19 economy.
NZ First has fallen well below 5 per cent and was teetering at around 3 per cent in the recent polls.
The Green Party barely has its head above water as Labour sucks up all of the support on the left.
Both parties face the usual problem of the smaller parties coming a cropper from being involved in Government, despite their efforts to differentiate themselves.
However, the ACT Party has had a boost in support.
Claire Trevett looked at the state of the small parties.
The Act Party is the only one of the smaller parties whose support has grown over the term – and through Covid-19.
Since April 2019 it has inched up from 0.7 per cent to 2.2 per cent last month in the Colmar Brunton poll.
That would be enough to secure it three MPs. It is more than enough to guarantee National will leave Epsom to Seymour again to ensure he returns to Parliament.
Seymour said he was not complacent about winning that seat, but he remained confident he could retain it, with or without the 'deal' with National.
It is likely to have benefited from National's difficulties in the polls. However, Seymour never lets a chance to have a dig at NZ First go to waste.
"[Some] people that are coming to Act are also former NZ First voters who have just lost trust in Winston Peters."
Of all the parties, ACT is taking the hardest line against simply using the Government books to spend the way out of the crisis.
"Act will offer a very clear choice, to get out of debt and deficits, to have a private sector-led recovery, rather than what seems to be an increasingly inward-looking, Beehive-led economy."
The party has had to delay much of its campaign by two months, including the annual conference which was to be held in May but would now be in July.
Asked about the chances of a National-Act coalition, Seymour said he believed there was a possibility of a centre-right Government. "Todd [Muller] has to win the centre, and Act will put the right into centre-right."
He was disappointed National appeared to be reconsidering its decision to rule out NZ First, but said he would be "very surprised" if they went ahead with that.
Seymour was also responsible for the law on euthanasia, which will be put to a referendum at the election. Seymour said his focus was on the Act campaign, and while there would be a 'Yes' campaign for the referendum, he would not have a formal role in it.
The Green Party will be hoping for a slightly less dramatic lead-in to the campaign than in 2017. It fought that 2017 campaign on one leg, after the dramatic resignation of co-leader Metiria Turei.
Turei quit after saying she had cheated the benefit system long ago, an admission she made to highlight the party's welfare policy. That led in a roundabout way to the handover of the leadership from Andrew Little to Jacinda Ardern in Labour.
The rise of Ardern saw the Green Party support slump to 6.3 per cent on election night.
That election left the remaining co-leader, James Shaw, fairly certain that the party's core support base was around the 6 per cent mark. The party has now also consolidated again, with new co-leader Marama Davidson settled in.
"I think by the time advance voting begins in about 90 days, the numbers will have normalised a bit. We are certainly not complacent about it, it's not a comfortable position to be in. But we have been here before and fought our way back," said Shaw.
He has made it no secret that the Green Party will be campaigning for a Labour-Green Government – without NZ First.
He said operating outside the Labour and NZ First coalition was "not a comfortable position" but the parties had shown it could work.
He would not rule out a similar arrangement if that was how the chips fell.
"We would make the best of that we can, but our clear preference is for, shall we say, a simpler governing arrangement than last time."
He said the Covid-19 recovery did give the Green Party opportunities and provided opportunities to further work on climate change and environmental measures.
"Obviously it has re-shaped our platform. We did a ton of work on our manifesto last year and we have had to re-work a lot of that.
"But I think it plays well to the Greens' strengths because we've always been about thinking about the long term. Painting that vision about what the country can look like if we make wise decisions about the stimulus is getting a real strong response."
The Green Party list has already been released. Of the Green Party candidates, so far only Marama Davidson has been given the go-ahead to campaign for the candidate vote in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate. Its rules require candidates to push solely for the party vote, unless an exemption is approved.
Chloe Swarbrick's request to chase the candidate vote in Auckland Central is yet to be decided.
NZ First "respectfully declined" to put up either leader Winston Peters or another party member for this article.
However, it faces the fight of its life to return after 2020.
The last set of polls showed Labour had taken all the warm fuzzies from the handling of the Covid-19 response – and NZ First had not benefited from the resulting slump in support for National.
It was at just 2.5 to 3 per cent in the public polls.
Peters is a long-standing poll denier and responded by saying he would "defy gravity".
NZ First's goal is not just to try to snare unhappy National voters, but to knock Labour down into the 40s in the polls to ensure it is again needed to form a Government.
As a result, the early stages of its campaign have resulted in disrupting their governing partner – albeit not so far as to endanger stability.
That was last seen over the move to level 1, and stalling measures to relieve commercial tenants struggling to pay their leases.
Peters has also agitated for the transtasman bubble to come sooner – at least for those states in Australia that are free of the virus. Ardern's position is an all-of-Australia one.
NZ First's website provides a hint as to what it will campaign on. It has taken to undertaking 'surveys' on various issues.
The subject matter of those surveys include Northport and the population policy (trying to slow down population growth), as well as Covid-related surveys on the transtasman bubble, the rules that applied at each stage of lockdown, and the move to level 1.
Covid-19 has also given it the opportunity to push its nationalistic lines, such as buying New Zealand-made.
NZ First is also hoping to secure itself a back-up option if the 5 per cent threshold proves out of reach.
Shane Jones has been put up in Northland – the seat National won back by a slim margin from Peters in 2017.
Jones has spent the week after that announcement tipping money from the Provincial Growth Fund into the region.
Jones has also announced that moving Auckland Port to Northland will be a 'bottom line.' He said the same thing in 2017 as well, but there is now a greater chance it will happen.
The Provincial Growth Fund will be a big part of the boast sheet NZ First takes to the electorate – as will a string of bottom lines for what it will do next.
NZ First tends to poll better on election night than the polls indicate.
But there is potential good news and bad news ahead for the party.
The party has the ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation into the NZ First Foundation – an entity set up to handle donations.
The SFO has said it expects to make some decisions ahead of the election. If that results in charges, it will make things difficult.
The good news is that new National Party leader Todd Muller has left it open to reconsidering former leader Simon Bridges' decision to rule out governing with NZ First post-2020.
If that happens, it will improve NZ First's lot.
National's low polling could also benefit NZ First if National voters decide a Labour Government is inevitable, so move to ensure NZ First is part of that mix: the so-called 'handbrake' argument.
That will see it campaign as much on what it has stymied, as what it has achieved in Government.