Ardern v Collins: New Zealand party leaders clash in lively but muddled debate

Rivals veered into parodies of themselves, with most analysts declaring incumbent the winner

The leaders of New Zealand’s two main political parties, Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, clashed in a boisterous, energetic and at times muddled third debate on Tuesday before the election on 17 October.

Ardern – the centre-left Labour leader and popular prime minister who is leading in the polls – was widely agreed to have won the debate over Collins, from centre right National, but the pair often veered into parodies of themselves rather than engaging on the substance, analysts said.

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