The left-wing parties did especially well in tonight's "Leaders Debate", I think. Helen Clark did a wonderful job of exposing Brash's dishonesty on the asset sales question. And the Greens sounded quite sensible in their discussion of tax policy (i.e. shifting the burdens of tax from low-income New Zealanders on to polluting businesses and such). It was interesting to watch the worm as it tracked audience opinion of the leaders' closing remarks. Don Brash was doing just fine until he said "vote National", at which point there was a sudden dip in popularity (though not nearly so bad as the sheer plummet which resulted from the asset sales backpeddling mentioned above). So I guess that's a good sign ;).
And ACT's was very ironic: Rodney Hide was making grand claims about how New Zealanders are "sick of bossy boots Helen Clark", etc., but with his worm consistently registering in the negatives. It seems that he is out of touch with popular opinion -- what we're really sick of is his mud-slinging and personality politics. But of course he's polling so low that we probably won't have to put up with it for much longer. (Classic line from Winston Peters on coalition partners: "We'd love to work with you, Rodney, but you're not going to be there!")