The 2017 election campaign has certainly had its share of unpredictable moments. Now the country is set to go to the polls and decide who will lead the next government.
To mark the occasion, Newshub political editor Paddy Gower selected his top five election campaign moments on The AM Show. They are:
- The Leadership Wars - Andrew Little, Meteria Turei and Peter Dunne resigning the middle of a campaign as the polls moved violently against them. Gower says: "These all started, in my view, with actually Andrew Little's failure to connect with the New Zealand public. That left a big gap, a vacuum where chaos started to happen."
- The Ardern Effect breathes new life into the Labour Party. "The Ardern effect was most obvious by the fact that the Labour supporters were so happy they actually enjoyed seeing me," Gower says.
- Bill English showing his inner strength in the debate by telling the public about how he came back from losing the 2002 election. "It came from deep within," Gower says. "It wasn't a prepared line, it was actually thought about."
- Steven Joyce and the $11.7 billion "lie". Coming out with the claim on the day of a debate was the beginning of a change in National Party tactics. "That started a turnaround."
- What Gower calls the biggest and baddest lie of them all - National saying that Labour is going to raise income taxes. "A sad moment in New Zealand politics," Gower says. "They've used an incredible amount of social media and advertising to reinforce this lie and as a journalist, actually I've taken deep offence at the fact that they've put this out there and that it's hard for us to get the truth out."