More than half of voters support the government’s proposal to cut access to paid parental leave for parents who have access to employer-funded scheme, but younger voters differ markedly from their elders on the subject, this week’s Essential Report shows.

According to the poll, 55% of voters back the government’s plan to end “double dipping”, while 32% oppose it. However, 45% of under-35s oppose cutting back access, compared to 40% who support it. In contrast, 56% of voters 35 and over approve, and 73% of over-55s. Men support the cuts more than women, 57% to 52%, while Greens voters are the only voting intention group to oppose them, 57% to 33%.

Essential also asked respondents about how much they feel respected by different organisations or people. Only 33% of people believe they get a “lot” or “some” respect from the federal government, compared to 82% who say they get some or a lot of respect from their employer. Even 65% of people say they get some or a lot of respect from their bank.


But men were much more likely to say they receive “a lot of respect” from the opposite sex — 31% to 17%, while women were much more likely to say they receive “not much” or “no” respect from men: 24% compared to 9% of men.

And the sensitivity surrounding gun laws in recent weeks has been underscored by the fact that just 6% of voters think current gun laws are too tough, compared to 44% who think they’re too soft and 45% who think they’re about right, demonstrating how badly out of touch firearms obsessives like NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm are on the issue. The most likely to say that firearms laws are not strong enough are Coalition voters (49%). The results are virtually identical to mid-2015, suggesting voters are fairly fixed in their views.

And a lot of young people fessed up to borrowing from the bank of mum and dad to buy a home. With even Treasury secretary John Fraser admitting to playing housing lender to his son, 19% of voters say they have borrowed from their parents to buy a home, and another 4% saying they have borrowed from grandparents and 6% other relatives.


And in the wake of yet more sickening footage of Australian animals being mistreated in abattoirs overseas, 44% of Australians support phasing out live exports altogether, compared to 29% who oppose it. Greens voters most strongly support phasing out — 66% — but even Coalition voters back phasing out 38% to 34%, although 50% of all voters agree that “Australia should only export live sheep and cattle to countries which guarantee they will be treated humanely”.

And more than 12 months on from the ouster of Tony Abbott, all voting groups approve of his replacement by Malcolm Turnbull except “other” voters, who disapprove 45%-29% — but overall voters approve 49%-29%, down from 58% in the wake of the event itself in September last year.

On voting intention, little change from last week: the Coalition remains on 38%, Labor on 37%, the Greens on 10% and One Nation on 6%. NXT is down a point to 2%, but the two-party preferred outcome is unchanged, at 52%-48% in favour of Labor.