Newshub-Reid Research poll: Labour's big pledge of free dental isn't moving the dial for voters

The dire state of the books means Labour can't hit the magic policy button and spray cash to bring voters back. 

Labour's policy cupboard for the rest of the campaign is looking bare and the latest Newshub Reid Research poll found its big bang - free dental - didn't move the dial for many.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll served Labour 26.8 percent. They're getting creamed.

"I am the leader of the Labour Party, of course, I accept responsibility for that," said leader Chris Hipkins. 

"We have got five weeks to go in this campaign. We are going to be out there working hard to win every vote we can."

While the chips are down for Chippy, National's Christopher Luxon was out packing boxes, maybe practising for moving day. 

Asked if he was the next Prime Minister, Luxon said: "I am working really hard to make sure I am the next Prime Minister." 

Hipkin said he wouldn't be counting any chickens before they hatch.

"We have to focus on winning Government. I know other people seem to be measuring up the Beehive for new curtains already. I think that is very premature."

Winning favour is like pulling teeth for Labour.

"Ultimately, politics can be a tough business sometimes," Hipkins said. 

"We have still got a campaign ahead of us. I am going to be getting out there, working hard."

Labour focussed its cost of living campaign on making life cheaper with no prescription fees and free dental for under 30s.

Hipkins said he was proud of the dental policy.

"I think it is a step-change for our overall approach to New Zealanders' health."

In our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll we asked, does Labour's dental policy make you more likely to vote for them?

The results showed 48.8 percent said no, it wasn't enough. But 45.4 percent said they were more likely to vote Labour for that policy. 

"The feedback we have had is New Zealanders are very receptive to the free dental care policy," said Hipkins. 

Among the voters they need - those who've fled to the Nats - 24.5 percent said they were more likely to vote Labour for dental, while for 70.3 percent it wasn't enough to change their mind.

Labours already published its pledge cards, suggesting its big vote winners are all out there for the public to muse.

Hipkins said there were further policies to announce.

His team was finding it hard to disguise the dismay when asked if they were worried. After a pause, eventually Labour MP Dr Ayesha Verrall answered by saying: "We have got a lot of work to do."

But the boss reckons he's got this.

"Just watch me," Hipkins said.