Essential poll: Morrison’s approval takes a hit from female voters while remaining unchanged with men

Scott Morrison’s standing with female voters has taken a hit as the political crisis triggered by the mishandling of Brittany Higgins’ rape allegation became the water cooler issue for the electorate, with the prime minister’s approval rating down 10 points in a fortnight, and disapproval up by 10%.

The latest Guardian Essential poll confirms Morrison’s approval rating slipped from 62% ...에 57% in the past fortnight as the the prime minister sought to contain the fallout of federal parliament’s #MeToo moment – with the slide driven by Australian women.

While Morrison’s approval with women voters is now down 16 points since the Higgins story broke in February, the prime minister’s standing with male voters has remained unchanged through the fracas, with only a minor uptick in disapproval recorded within the poll’s margin of error, which is plus or minus three points.

With Morrison on Monday reshuffling his cabinet to amplify a female “perspective” within government deliberations while at the same time arguing that the disgraced backbencher Andrew Laming should not quit politics immediately but instead embark upon empathy training – the new survey of 1,100 respondents shows majority voter support for a range of actions to address gender inequality.

A majority (69%) want the government to organise a national summit of all state and federal leaders to set targets and policies to reduce violence and sexual assault, and a similar percentage (68%) want the government to implement the recommendations of the Respect@Work inquiry which was completed by Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins more than 12 months ago.

There is also support for establishing a specialist sexual assault court (62%) to address the difficulties women face in securing successful rape prosecutions, 과 60% of respondents would support universal access to free childcare and early learning for families with young children.

The poll indicates women support these measures more than male respondents in the survey. Over 70% of women want the summit, compared with 65% of men, while 73% of women want the protections against workplace harassment compared to 62% of men.

The gender gap widens with the specialist court (supported by 70% of female respondents and 53% of male respondents), and narrows with universal childcare (63% of women and 57% of men).

As part of signalling to Australian women that he was listening to their concerns, Morrison flagged the Liberal party could consider the adoption of quotas to increase the number of female representatives in Canberra.

The concept of quotas divides the sample, 와 48% of respondents supporting the idea and 36% opposed. When this question was last asked in 2019, 46% of the sample supported quotas and 40% opposed them.

While momentum is building for the change that would allow women on the centre-right of politics to achieve critical mass, Coalition voters are divided about quotas, 와 48% of Liberal and National party voters in the sample supporting them, 43% opposing them, 와 9% unsure. The concept has higher support among Labor voters with 54% supportive and 31% 에 맞서.

Voters were asked why they thought there were fewer women than men in the Australian parliament. Most people blamed the political parties for the phenomenon.

Almost two-thirds of the sample believes the parties don’t do enough to encourage gender equality in their organisations, and agreement with this statement has increased from 57% 에 2019. This view is held across all voting cohorts.

Just over half of the sample (56%) thinks the selection process for politics is biased towards men, with female respondents a bit more likely to hold that view than male respondents.

A sizeable minority (43%) believe that women choose not to enter politics (with men more likely to hold that view than women (52% ...에 34%). A minority again (40%) agree with the statement: “voters prefer to elect men, rather than women”. Men are more likely to agree with that statement than women (43% ...에 36%).

Only a small proportion of respondents (20%) agree with the statement: “women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician”.

Voters think the issues raised over the past month in federal politics are reflective of a wider trend in society. A majority (60%) say that recent revelations about the culture in Parliament House are symptomatic of the discrimination of women in society, while 40% sees the stories as reflective of a toxic culture connected to politics.

Labor and Greens voters were more likely to think the workplace culture is shared by society (both 70%), while Coalition voters are more likely to believe the issues are isolated to politics (52%).

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