Newshub Leaders Debate: Who had the best lines?

Bill English's surprise poverty target was one revelation from last night's Newshub Leaders Debate.

Others included Jacinda Ardern's promise to resign before raising the retirement age and resolving to change the law so abortion is not a crime.

But there were plenty of light moments too between the two party leaders in the race to lead the country.

One of Bill English's best lines came when asked about his last outing as National leader - after losing in the 2002 election.

When asked what was different about him since the last time he tried to win an election, he replied "I got up again."

Both Bill English and Jacinda Ardern were up for the contest. 

Ms Ardern called Mr English out over the issue of tax. "We are not increasing any tax on wage or salary earners, that is scare mongering Bill, you've done it this whole campaign and I'm calling you on it," she said.

Mr English trumpeted his new tunnel when the two leaders clashed over record immigration figures.

When asked if Auckland was coping he said "Now that Waterview's open, it'll cope a lot better."

"Waterview is not a vision and it's not a plan and it's ironically a tunnel," Ms Ardern fired back.

Jacinda Ardern took the John Key approach when asked about the age of retirement, saying that she would resign before raising the age of super.

She also took a clear stance on abortion law, saying "It shouldn't be in the Crimes Act."

There was no avoiding talk of the kingmaker, an obstacle to both parties' ability to govern alone.

Both leaders ruled out giving Winston Peters the top job.

And what would they do if they got a phone call at 3am from Donald Trump asking them to go to war with North Korea?

Mr English said "I wouldn't give him a commitment over the phone, that wouldn't be fair."

Bill English was amused by a question about cannabis, proposing there'd be no charge for users caught with 40g or "about the size of a muesli bar". 

But he was not so relaxed when asked about marching for a cause, saying he'd march for his own right to govern the country. 

And Ms Ardern was still vague on taxes, saying she'd leave it to the working group to conduct a tax review if Labour was elected to government.

Both leaders rated their efforts about a six out of ten - neither wanting to look like they're taking anything for granted in in such a close election with less than a week before voters go to the polls. 

Newshub.

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