John Key has bounced back from his flat footed opening TV One leaders debate, with a fiery and aggressive showing in Christchurch tonight.
Mr Key who needed a strong showing after a fraught campaign dominated by the Dirty Politics scandal…. managed to land one strong blow on David Cunliffe on the issue of tax.
When asked if Labour's capital gain tax would apply to the 300 thousand family homes that are in trusts, Mr Cunliffe appeared to avoid answering the question and looked briefly rattled.
Labour wants to introduce a capital gains tax, but not on the family home.
Tax was a strong theme of the debate for John Key and he repeatedly attacked Mr Cunliffe over what he claimed were five new taxes that Labour would introduce.
David Cunliffe was strong early and matched Key mostly blow for blow.
And on the issue of the Christchurch rebuild and insurance payments from the Earthquake probably had a slight edge.
Dirty politics did feature again, and Mr Key also for the first time in scandal openly condemned blogger Cameron Slater over his alleged involvement in a smear campaign against the SFO boss.
It was a much different John Key tonight than the at times rattled Prime Minister we saw last week. At times he may have come across as a little too negative and aggressive in his attacks.
However on balance I would say this was a victory to John Key.