The impact player was the New Zealand First leader, who showed the authoritative Winston Peters of old was back - putting aside the almost incoherent creature of the 2008 campaign, dropping in one-liners and beating his policy drum as only Peters can.

He also had the power of the teapot tape on his side and wasn't scared to use it to embarrass Don Brash and John Key.

The winner: Green co-leader Russel Norman, who sounded credible on the economy and made Act's Brash look a nincompoop with his theory of the carbon that fed the grass that caused the cow to belch the carbon.

The entertainers: Hone Harawira and Tariana Turia, who let out some far-fetched "facts" to back up their policies and spent half the time agreeing and the rest disputing who had the policies first.

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Never had a chance: Brash. He was as expected solid on the economy, but found both friend and foe in Peters - friend on the issue of separatism, but foe on everything else. The foe ruled.

Reflected glory: Peter Dunne and Brash, who shamelessly referred to the "John Key-led Government" in the hope of benefiting from his popularity.