'All sizzle, no sausage': National roasted for 'sexist' BBQ attack ad on Labour

National's having a bad week, and a new attack ad may have just made things worse.

On Wednesday the party unveiled its latest anti-Labour ad on social media, and controversial housing scheme KiwiBuild is the target.

A title card reading 'Rhetoric vs Reality #1' pops up at the start of the video, indicating it's the first of an intended series.

The clip shows a young woman at a BBQ asking a man if he's heard Labour is building 100,000 homes to solve the housing crisis.

The man does some quick maths and calculates that's 33 houses built every day for the next 10 years. The woman nods excitedly, to which the man simply says 'Nope' as he chuckles and takes a swig of a Hopt soda.

"How many have they built so far?" the woman asks, to which the man says 33.

A third character is then introduced in the form of an older bearded gentleman manning the barbeque. He turns to the other two characters, a frankfurter speared on the end of his fork, and gleefully proclaims: "They're all sizzle and no sausage."

The ad has been met with accusations of sexism, with social media users criticising its "patronising" portrayal of two men explaining something to a naïve, uninformed woman.

"Women! Aren't you lucky to have men at BBQs to explain maths and politics to you?" joked @David_Cormack on Twitter.

@Abigail1963 sarcastically said it was bold of National to use the "man explains facts to silly girl trope", while @TristanRS asked the party to "read the room".

"I just pictured Simon Bridges talking to voters in the patronising way this guy is," wrote @LoonyKiwi. "I wonder if that's why no one wants him as Prime Minister."

The catchphrase 'all sizzle and no sausage' also took some heat, with @LI_politico saying if interpreted in a sexual way, it would describe "an ideal/safe situation for most women".

"After having spent the day reading research on effective political metaphors and ones that can backfire, I am going for a definite miss," said @DrJessBerentson.

Others criticised the party for engaging in dishonest "Trump style politics", saying Labour never promised the 100,000 KiwiBuild houses would be built at a steady rate for the first few years of the scheme. 

"If you had ten years to grow ten apples, do you understand how not having a fully grown fruit tree in one year is not inconsistent with that goal?" wrote @AotearoaSam.

"Instead of coming up with petty insults and pointing fingers,how about thinking up some solutions to the actual problem of housing?" said @KatArt2.

"You had nine years in Government while the issue grew around you."

The provocative ad is just the latest scandal in a disastrous few days for the party.

On Monday the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll revealed that for the first time in 12 years, National is polling below Labour.

It also indicated almost no one wants to see Simon Bridges as Prime Minister, with Judith Collins the preferred choice among National voters as well as the general public.

However soon after the poll results were out, deputy leader Paula Bennett came to her party's defence.

"Over 41 percent while just over a year into opposition is doing pretty well in my book," she said on Twitter.

"We will improve as the realisation of a failed KiwiBuild, higher taxes and rents under this Government continue to play out. Always room to improve but all things considered I'm proud to be a Nat."