10 The All Blacks Rugby World Cup triumph should have been a campaign highlight. John Key stood before a rugby-mad nation, so eager to shake Richie McCaw's hand that he performed an embarrassing "three-way" handshake.
9 After the Rena ran aground and a suit-clad shovel-bearing Phil Goff joined the clean-up, all the public saw was a poorly executed PR stunt.
8 The Greens, ever earnest about their policies, have never been famous for their sense of humour ... until this election when party wags secretly pasted "The Rich Deserve More" stickers all over National's billboards.
7 Dubbed the "battle of the babes", coverage of the race for Auckland Central resembled a beauty pageant with the focus never far from the looks of the two top candidates: National's blonde Nikki Kaye, 31; Labour's brunette, Jacinda Ardern, also 31.
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6 Don Brash had pundits wondering what he was on when he revealed his hitherto hidden liberal stance towards drugs. It's not that he takes them himself, just that he thinks personal use of marijuana should be decriminalised in the name of saving police time.
5 "Show me the money," demanded John Key at a leaders' debate in Christchurch, leaving Phil Goff resembling a high school student who hadn't swotted for his final exams being told off by the headmaster.
4 When Outrageous Fortune star Robyn Malcolm helped kick off the Greens' campaign she launched a feisty (some said "vitriolic") attack on John Key. Her spirited speech attracted plenty of personal criticism, but nothing Cheryl West couldn't handle.
3 MMP brought out weirdness in Epsom where the shape of the next government depended on this strange message: If you like National, don't vote for their candidate Paul Goldsmith; If you like Labour, do vote Goldsmith. John Key suggested a cup of tea with Act's John Banks ...
2 Then John Key got a bad case of the speed wobbles refusing to divulge details of his conversation with Banks, accusing this newspaper of "News of the World tactics" for not publishing the details, then calling the police - who, he said, now had plenty of time on their hands.
1 Enter comeback king Winston Peters who claimed to know what was on the now notorious recording. After all the talk of him being "deprived of oxygen", it turns out what he really needed to get back in the race was a cup of tea.