If Colin Craig thinks it's been a struggle getting his Conservative Party close enough in the polls to clear the 5 per cent threshold on election day then he hasn't seen anything yet.
In the 12 or so days before the big day, Craig should brace himself for an onslaught from all directions - not just New Zealand First and not just other political parties.
Winston Peters may well be Craig's biggest foe as he has most to lose if the Conservatives really get on a roll.
It seems unlikely Craig will capture enough votes to place New Zealand First's parliamentary status at risk.
But he could thwart Peters' efforts to hold the monopoly on who governs after September 20.
Barring the outside possibility National can govern alone, it would be John Key's hope he can pick and choose between either minor party to secure a majority in the new Parliament.
It's an open question which of Peters or Craig would be the easier to deal with in a governing arrangement. But as Key noted yesterday, it's always good to have options in life. National seemed to have few until Labour crashed in the polls and it became obvious New Zealand First would have to negotiate with National or sit in isolation on Parliament's cross benches.
Bearing future elections in mind, Key might explore the still-remote possibility of working with both New Zealand First and the Conservatives simultaneously in government.
It's not in the interests of Labour, the Greens or Internet-Mana for Key to have so many options. Nor would Act or Peter Dunne's United Future want their already-limited influence over National further diluted.
Peters is already widening his attack on Craig, saying a vote for the Conservatives is a wasted vote, although the polls increasingly suggest that won't necessarily be the case.
Peters has also mocked Craig's negotiating skills, saying the latter would take whatever Key offered rather than holding out for more.
Craig can expect further attacks - not least because lashing out at him is guaranteed to generate media attention.
Thus Craig will face charges his party is a front organisation for Christian fundamentalists, that some of his candidates hold very extreme views, that his policies, such as a tax-free threshold of $20,000, are prohibitively expensive and have not been properly costed.
That the likes of Christine Rankin and Garth McVicar are on board the Conservatives for the ride is to Peters no small advantage when it comes to scaring the punters.
But Peters must also be careful his rubbishing of Craig doesn't end up building a sympathy vote for the Conservatives and its leader.