Government ‘Out Of Touch’ On Marriage Equality, Say Coalition Voters


A new poll has found close to 40 percent of voters in several Coalition electorates are less likely to vote for the Coalition if they continue to block a parliamentary vote on marriage equality, with more than half calling the government “out of touch” on the issue.

The ReachTel poll of 12 Coalition seats across metropolitan, regional and rural Australia was commissioned by The Equality Campaign and surveyed an average of 700 people polled in each seat.

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According to the poll:

– Almost 40% of the voters in the 12 electorates are less likely to vote for the Coalition if they continue to block a vote on marriage equality
– 20% of voters are less likely to vote for the Coalition if they continue to block a vote in this term of parliament
– 55% of voters believe their MP should be allowed to vote on a same-sex marriage bill
– 66% of the voters believe its important that the Government resolve the issue of same-sex marriage by a vote in the parliament this year
– 56% of the voters say the Coalition are “out of touch with the community” on the issue

The poll found a majority of respondents in all seats backed marriage equality with an average of 61% support and a surge to 70% and above in some.

“This level of support reflects what The Equality Campaign has been hearing in the dozens of community forums we have been holding over the past month in rural and regional Australia,” Equality Campaign executive director Tiernan Brady said.

“From Armidale to Perth, marriage equality is about family members and friends who just want the same dignity and standing and to be able to get on with their lives.

“It’s time the government did their job and enacted marriage equality in line with the settled will of the Australian people.”

Last week, more than 30 business leaders wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging him to legislate for marriage equality.

In response Mr Turnbull pointed to the government’s marriage equality plebiscite which was blocked in the Senate last November and widely criticised as expensive and divisive.

“If we’d had the plebiscite… it would’ve been passed, and gay couples would be getting married now,” he said on Friday.

“We have a commitment on a plebiscite, which we took to the election. That’s our policy. The way to ensure gay marriage is allowed is to have a plebiscite.”