Mistakes in campaigns are fatal. There is no time to recover.
Bill English ran a mistake-free campaign. In modern politics no one else who has taken over as Prime Minister has gone on to win the next election. It is a remarkable achievement. All the other parties made mistakes.
When Jacinda became Labour leader Bill English could have launched an attack pointing out her youth and inexperience. Bill held his nerve. Labour's policies were unchanged. He was sure before Election Day the stardust would wear off.
Jacinda made the best start for a new leader ever. If the election had been two weeks earlier she would be now moving into Premier House.
While Jacinda saved Labour, she and she alone, is responsible for their defeat - 36 per cent of the party vote for a major party is a defeat.
Jacinda's captain's call to say that a Labour victory would be a mandate to implement any tax and at any rate that a nameless, unelected, committee recommends was a huge blunder. Bill English recognises a gift when he sees one. The campaign in the last 10 days switched to who was the best economic manager, an issue National could not lose.
Te Ururoa Flavell does not recognise a gift. Labour without consultation with Maori announced a "royalty" on water.
It is potentially a bigger grab of Maori rights than Labour's confiscation of the foreshore. Flavell's response was he would "consult with iwi". If instead he had led a fight for Maori water rights the Maori Party could have won all seven Maori seats.
While credit goes to James Shaw for saving his party from oblivion, he was responsible for their disastrous fall. He still will not say benefit fraud is wrong. He has also lead the Greens to the extreme left and irrelevancy.
A Green Party that campaigned on the environment would make an attractive alternative for Bill English.
The increasingly bizarre promises for Northland lead me to pick that perhaps Northland was going back to National.
It was Winston's worst campaign. He skipped the minor leaders' debate, always a mistake.
Far from being a strong position Winston is in a terrible spot.
Every third party that has gone into coalition has lost its list seats in the next election and he no longer has an electorate safety net.
His choice is whether to give confidence and supply from the cross bench and perhaps survive or take ministerial office and inevitable defeat.
Joining an unstable coalition of the losers would probably mean that election defeat will come sooner.
We have been friends with cats for 10,000 years. We were never going to swap moggie for TOP.
David Seymour hoped by being an Under Secretary he could avoid the coalition curse. He was wrong.
There are now hundreds of charter school children who are pleased that he was. With Epsom, Act lives to fight another day unlike the United Future party that has left for the future.