Patrick Gower: The 'I got up again' election

OPINION: Bill English got up again - and took National on the up and up too.

He helped National defy political gravity, leading it to the brink of a fourth term.

The National leader found "another level" while campaigning.

His political career had a terrible dive in 2002 when he led National to its worst-ever result.

Asked about what was different to him in the Newshub Leaders Debate, he said: "I got up again".

His career lurched to brilliant last night. It was no surprise that tweeted: "Thanks New Zealand: I got up again."

It is now the line of the election.

It defines Bill English's campaign.

The only thing that could bring English down is Winston Peters choosing to go with Labour and the Greens.

Jacinda Ardern took over as Labour leader when it was down - then got it up.

But it was probably not far enough. She will probably have to get Labour up again.

She too will view Winston Peters as a downer.

Green leader James Shaw got up as well. The Greens were down and nearly out. Shaw and his crew kept the movement alive. That was huge.

And of course Winston Peters got up too - into the kingmaker role.

In the New Zealand election 2017, it was all about getting up.

Patrick Gower is Newshub's political editor.