Phil Goff came out at last Monday night's leaders' debate with all guns blazing.
Trailing badly in the polls, he had nothing to lose and in the opening minutes of TV One's political showdown, he had the Prime Minister rattled.
In the last election, when political newbie John Key was up against the veteran Helen Clark, the apprentice turned master and Key was the hands down winner.
This time, the honours appeared more even. The Labour leader addressed the Prime Minister directly, which seemed to put Key on the back foot initially, and Goff didn't hold back when he called the PM a liar for raising GST after promising not to.
There's a bit of argy-bargy when it comes to the GST accusations - Key said he would not raise GST to cover the deficit - and he didn't; Goff says that's hair splitting.
I think a number of people were surprised by Goff's good showing, and Goff would have flown to Christchurch feeling pretty good about his prospects in the second leaders' debate.
That confidence would have lasted right up until Key uttered the infamous quote: "Show me the money!"
Labour was forced to front up with its economic plan but it appears to have done the sums incorrectly.
Commentators say that the party's economists have overstated the revenue the Government would receive by not selling state assets, and although Labour's David Cunliffe and David Parker tried to defend their figures by talking about prefu's - pre-election economic and fiscal updates - and gross revenue versus net, their explanations would have been lost on a lot of voters.
The average punter would have been left with National's spin on Labour's economic plan - that this is a party of borrow and spend, buy now and pay later.
After a promising start to the week, it was a body blow for Labour but certainly not a knockout punch.
For those voters who are not tribal, who decide which party to vote for based on the policies presented and not on historic loyalty, the manifestos of the minor parties will be required reading.
Although National is soaring ahead in the polls, election day is crunch time and the minor parties may well be required to form a government. It's always a good idea to check out what policies they would want to see enacted if and when it comes down to serious horse trading.