2nd debate verdicts

Various journalists rate the 2nd debate. From the Herald:

John Armstrong, political correspondent
Winner: John Key
Slaughter-time. Unfortunately for David Cunliffe, lightning does strike twice in the same place. For the second time in successive elections, the Labour leader has come a cropper at the hands of John Key during the Christchurch Press leaders’ debate. For Phil Goff, it was being unable to say where the money was coming from; for Cunliffe it was detail about how Labour’s capital gains tax would apply to homes in family trusts. Cunliffe could not provide an answer. He should have known. He froze. He bore the demeanour of a freshly-killed sheep hanging from a hook at the local freezing works.

Audrey Young, political editor
Winner: John Key
Lightning does strike twice. John Key won the Press debate three years ago when Phil Goff didn’t know the answer to a question, the “show me the money” moment. It happened again in last night’s debate when David Cunliffe didn’t know the answer to a question on his own capital gains tax and trusts. Key answered the question himself. It was a calculated ambush and it wounded Cunliffe. You felt embarrassed for him.

Toby Manhire, columnist
Winner: John Key

It wasn’t quite a repeat of “show me the money” from 2011, but when John Key challenged David Cunliffe on trusts and capital gains, he rattled him.

Fran O’Sullivan, columnist
Winner: John Key

John Key was pumped with all the energy of a barrow boy, ramping up the fear factor about Labour’s “five new taxes” and catching David Cunliffe out when it came to the detail on Labour’s capital gains tax.

And on Stuff from Vernon Small:

Call it a tie.

Prime Minister John Key and David Cunliffe went head to head in the Press leaders debate in a far more even contest than the first televised TVNZ debate.

Patrick Gower at 3 News:

John “The Bantam” Key was back in the Christchurch Press debate this evening.

He was steely, uppity and aggressive, butting in lots and taking the “interrupter” role from David Cunliffe – and plenty of punters won’t like that.

There is a fine line between Bantam and Brat, but Key landed a blow on Cunliffe over the Capital Gains Tax that left the Labour leader flummoxed and rattled.

Cunliffe could not answer Key’s question about whether family homes in Trusts would be exempt from the tax – but he should have been able to, as he developed the policy.

One News:

John Key landed a blow on David Cunliffe over Labour’s planned capital gains tax in a fiery leaders debate in Christchurch.

ONE News political reporters say The Press leaders debate seemed pretty even until the National leader turned to his Labour counterpart and asked: “Will I pay a capital gains tax if my family home is in a trust?”

Labour are now claiming that there will not be capital gains tax on your home, if it is in a family trust, but that isn’t in their policy. I think you call it an urgent clarification.

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