26% OF COALITION VOTERS COULD SWITCH IF TURNBULL GOV'T FAILS ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY
FURTHER DELAY ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY PUTS LIBERAL GOV'T AT RISK
VOTERS GIVE PLEBISCITE AND POSTAL VOTE THE THUMBS DOWN
Over a quarter of Coalition voters (1.1 million voters) say they will consider voting for a new Government that commits to a marriage equality free vote, if marriage equality isn’t dealt with in this term.
That's the finding of the latest national marriage equality poll by Galaxy Research, which also found continued high support for a free vote and plummeting support for a plebiscite, including among Coalition voters (more results below).
The poll results indicate that marriage equality will be a major issue at the next election that could cost the Turnbull Government office if it doesn’t allow a free vote beforehand.
The poll was commissioned by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. National spokesperson, Shelley Argent, said,
"This poll shows Australians want action now on marriage equality and the Turnbull Government will lose government if it continues to delay on an issue that people just wish was over and dealt with.
“Mr Turnbull doesn't seem to understand voters are tired of the political games relating to marriage equality.”
“Our sons and daughters deserve better than the endless delays and indifference we are seeing at the moment and it seems from this poll that most Australians agree.”
Just.equal spokesperson and long-time marriage equality advocate, Rodney Croome, said,
"If the Government doesn’t allow a free vote very soon it will be out on its ear at the next election.”
"The continued high support for a free vote and the overwhelming opposition to a plebiscite are all the mandates this Government needs to get on with it."
"I call on marriage equality supporters within the Coalition to push for a free vote or cross the floor, if they are to avoid a backlash that could cost them their seats."
The poll showed 40% of Australians will be more likely to vote for a Government that commits to a free vote should the current Government fail to make such a commitment, including 26% of Coalition voters.
73% of respondents want a free vote now, including 67% of Coalition voters, with only 27% support for a plebiscite.
The poll found the main reasons for opposing a plebiscite are the cost, the delay, the fact it is not binding and the division it will cause.
60% of voters believe the delay entailed by having a plebiscite at the next election would be "unreasonable, including 50% of Coalition voters.
When given the choice of a free vote now, a plebiscite at the election or a voluntary postal vote as proposed by Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, 74% prefer a vote now compared at only 13% and 14% respectively for the two latter options.
See below for a snapshot over time of public opinion on a free vote and a plebiscite.
A copy of the Galaxy report is attached.
For more information contact Shelley Argent on 0409 363 335 or Rodney Croome on 0409 010 668.
Plummetting support for a plebiscite
Aug 2015 (Sexton): 76% support for a plebiscite
Sep 2015 (Essential): 67% support for a plebiscite
Jul 2016 (Galaxy): 48% support for a plebiscite
Sep 2016 (Newspoll): 39% support for a plebiscite
May 2017 (Galaxy): 27% support for a plebiscite
Continued high support for a free vote in parliament
May 2011 (Galaxy), 77% support a free vote
June 2015 (Reachtel): 64-69% support a free vote in regional Coalition seats
Jan 2016 (Reachtel): 63% support a free vote in Wentworth
Oct 2016 (Reachtel): 66% want a “swift resolution on the floor of parliament”
Feb 2017 (Galaxy): 66% support a free vote
Feb 2017 (Reachtel): 62% support a free vote in marginal Coalition seats
May 2017 (Galaxy): 73% support a free vote
The political impact
Feb 2017 (Galaxy): 71% would look more favourably on the Turnbull Government if it allowed a free vote
May 2017 (Galaxy): 26% of Coalition voters will be more likely to support a change of government to one that commits to a free vote if nothing happens this term