'No' vote surges in regional and rural Australia ahead of Voice referendum

Regional polling reveals growing opposition in the bush, with questions raised over ineffective government communication.

'No' vote surges in regional and rural Australia ahead of Voice referendum
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An online survey conducted by Australian Community Media's research division, encompassing 10,131 voters, indicates a decline in support for the impending referendum on the Indigenous Voice to parliament, particularly in regional and rural Australia.

The poll revealed that the overall 'no' vote stands at 55 percent, compared to 38 percent for 'yes,' with an additional 7 percent remaining undecided.

Within regional areas, the 'no' vote garnered 57 percent, while the 'yes' vote reached 35 percent, leaving 8 percent undecided.

The survey involved readers of 14 east coast regional and metro publications, including Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Tamworth, Orange, Albury, and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. It also covered Ballarat, Bendigo, and Warrnambool in Victoria, as well as Launceston and Burnie in Tasmania.

The poll was conducted between June 16 and June 26.

Additionally, the survey revealed that 72 percent of respondents believed the federal government had not adequately explained the Indigenous Voice and its functionality.

Gender disparities in voting preferences were also highlighted, as men were more inclined to vote 'no' than women. Out of the male respondents, 65 percent expressed their opposition to the Voice, compared to 45 percent of women.

The federal government remains committed to conducting the referendum during the final quarter of 2023. If successful, the Indigenous Voice to parliament is purported as a body to offer advice on matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, however the Albanese government has struggled to address broader concerns over the constitutional amendment.

The referendum's outcome depends on achieving majority support nationwide, as well as in at least four out of the six Australian states.

The proposed question to be presented in the referendum is as follows:

"A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?"

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