After months of debate, are Australians revealing how they really feel?
As the Voice to Parliament referendum continues to dominate and polarise Australian politics, new research from CoreData suggests a double-digit decline in the number of people supporting the constitutional change since the start of the year.
What is Voice to Parliament? Originating from the Uluru Statement From the Heart, the idea is that Australian people come together to make fair and practical change through constitutional recognition that would enable “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide advice to the parliament on policies and projects that impact their lives.” As proposed by the Uluru Statement, the referendum would allow the Australian government to make policies with rather than for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Over the past 12 months, CoreData alongside Hunter and Bligh, asked the opinion of Australians and what they are thinking in relation to the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum. Following on from the initial survey released in August 2022, in May 2023 Hunter and Bligh reached out to 650 Australians aged 18 and over to learn more about their views and if it had changed.
The most concerning result is that only a little over half of Australians (55 per cent) support the alteration to the constitution, down significantly from 65 per cent in December 2022 and 80 per cent in August of 2022. This dramatic decline over the past 10 months comes at a time when just over nine in 10 (96 per cent) Australians are aware of the alteration sought by the government.
Interestingly, despite record high awareness, only half of the respondents (52 per cent) view this issue as important, declining from 60 per cent in December, and suggesting that fewer Australian’s think this is an important issue.
The latest data should be worrying for the Yes Campaign. The tightening polls and near universal awareness means most have made up their minds which way they will vote, and trending in the wrong direction. With polls currently split down the middle, and little time before the referendum is called for years end, it will certainly be an uphill battle to convince a majority of voters in most of the nation’s states to support.
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