Poll: Govt could lose 1/4 of voters over marriage equality delay

A recent poll has shown that up to 26% of Coalition voters would consider voting for a new government that is committed to allowing a free vote on marriage equality if legislation isn’t passed in this term.

The data from Galaxy Research shows that approximately 1.1 million voters would switch their vote at the next election if marrage equality is not delivered by a free vote in parliament.

The poll was commissioned by the national branch of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). National spokesperson Shelley Argent says the poll shows Australians want action on marriage equality now.

“Mr Turnbull doesn’t seem to understand voters are tired of the political games relating to marriage equality,” Argent said.

“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.”

Veteran activist and just.equal spokesperson Rodney Croome says the government will be “out on its ear” at the next election if it does not allow a free vote.

“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,” Croome said.

“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.

OIP Staff

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