It would be unfair to say Judith Collin's election campaign has lost momentum: she never had it in the first place.
The economic policy launch which clearly differentiates National for its tax cuts gives her a timely hook not just to reset the campaign but her leadership.
She has been failing to cut through, failing to make impact, failing to excite.
Partly that is because of Covid interruptus. Delaying the election for a month has turned the campaign into a double marathon, consequently slowing the pace and energy.
The campaign feels as though it has been going for a month, and yet Collins launches her campaign only tomorrow.
The party is banking on the tax cuts policy and tomorrow's virtual event shaking it up.
There have been no real flashpoints between Collins and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern so far – policy differences have been moderate.
There have been no public polls which invariably add drama to the contest – although there have been plenty of leaked polls suggesting National is in trouble.
Then there has been the surprisingly low-key demeanour of Collins herself.
Few leaders arrive in the top job as she did with such strong brand identity - toughness – but she has squandered that advantage. It has been virtually absent.
In her public appearances, she appears to be more concerned with being liked than being respected.
She should be playing to her strengths if she wants to avoid electoral humiliation. That does not mean being nasty about Ardern or Finance Minister Grant Robertson. But it does mean cutting down on the wise-cracking attempts at humour and reclaiming her defining characteristics.
It means taking a more disciplined and focused approach to the party's messaging.
That will be much easier from now on, after Collins announced temporary tax cuts, ostensibly to stimulate the economy after the second lockdown for Auckland.
It was clearly a desperate measure for desperate times – a bid to stop a potential electoral slide by National with a month still to go. The decision by National to promise tax cuts was a late one.
As recently as last week, finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith was saying taxes would be held where they were and Collins has previously ruled them out.
But when Grant Robertson set aside $14 billion in the Budget for a Covid contingency fund, it was always likely to be requisitioned by any party for their own election promises.
The difference is in priorities. Labour has approved Covid fund spending to increase the budget of Radio New Zealand, to build a Green School in Taranaki as well as short-term subsidies for wages, and reinstating the training incentive allowance, for example.
Tax cuts from the Covid fund leave National with less discretionary spending than Labour, which now professes to be the more prudent fiscal manager.
National desperately wants to lure back the soft support that went to Ardern through the Covid health crisis and has stubbornly stuck to her as the economic crisis has deepened.
It is gambling that while Covid-19 may have changed life as we know it, hip-pocket politics has not - at least when it comes to elections.