1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann says Labour leader Andrew Little has a chance today to "show his stuff" with the announcement of a families package after a "pretty disastrous" result for the party in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll.
Both major political parties took a hit, National dropping two points to 47 per cent and Labour down three points to 27 per cent since the last poll in May, while the Green Party and New Zealand First are both up two points to 11 per cent.
Mr Little dropped to fourth in the preferred prime minister rankings, the lowest result for an opposition leader since Phil Goff in 2009.
The Labour leader's popularity fell by three points to five per cent, behind Prime Minister Bill English, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters - who jumped four points to 11 per cent - and Labour's deputy leader Jacinda Ardern.
Mr Little says he's not particularly concerned about his numbers, the Labour Party is "absolutely humming" and there is not going to be a late change in its leadership.
However Corin Dann says there's no way to sugar coat it, this is a pretty disastrous result for Labour 10 weeks out from an election.
"They will be extremely gutted about this, I think, it's a huge hit to their morale. They've got to somehow find a circuit breaker," Dann said.
"And for Andrew Little, he has got to find some way to really get up and connect with voters. He's got the opportunity today. They will be announcing their alternative families package. That is a chance for him to try and show his stuff.
"But clearly, 10 weeks out from an election, to be falling backwards like this is a big problem."
No one raises a lot of the issues that come up in Wellington"
Prime Minister Bill English
New Zealand First, adding former Labour MP Shane Jones to its ranks, remains a likely kingmaker at 11 per cent and Mr Peters insists, "we are doing far far far better than that".
Dann says Winston Peters is the "man with the momentum at the moment" and his party is taking a lot of the limelight from Labour.
Labour also had its messy international student controversy this month, while Bill English's memory lapse over the Todd Barclay affair saw his leadership under fire.
But Mr English told 1 NEWS: "No one raises a lot of the issues that come up in Wellington."
The Greens are also making gains, co-leader James Shaw saying, "history shows we do tend to rise during election campaigns".
Maori Public Health boss Lance Norman told politicians today that 35 per cent of Maori still smoke, along with 25 per cent of Pasifika and 12-13 per cent of all other ethnicities.