When Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey announced an end to two sets of maternity leave payments for "double dipping" mothers, it almost seemed wise to stay quiet. Abbott and his ministers seemed to be doing a good job of burying the policy themselves. There was their seemingly ill-advised language (mothers were "frauds" and "rorting" the system), the hypocrisy (Liberal ministers were forced to admit their wives had "double dipped") and political backflips (Abbott had made his maternity leave scheme of six months at replacement wages his signature policy at the 2013 election).

Yet a new Essential Report poll, out on Tuesday, shows that a majority of voters are actually applauding the decision.