Current Affairs

This poll shows just how out of touch Australia’s PM is on equal marriage

Nick Duffy August 16, 2015
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A new poll shows that Australian Prime Minister is extraordinarily out of touch with both his voters and the general public on same-sex marriage.

A number of same-sex marriage bills were set to come before the Australian Parliament this month, but anti-gay marriage PM Tony Abbott failed to afford a free vote for his MPs – binding them to vote against equality.

He has also threatened to sack any ministers who break ranks on the issue, effectively killing the proposals outright.

However, a new poll will mark sombre reading for Mr Abbott – who has also proposed a plebiscite (referendum) on the issue to stall proposals.

The Fairfax/Ipsos poll found that nationally, 69 percent of people are in support of same-sex marriage – which appears to be so high that any mooted plebiscite would be effectively redundant. Just 25 percent of Australians now oppose same-sex marriage.

Worse news for Mr Abbott – who is a year-and-a-half away from a key election – is that his approach also goes down badly with his own voters.

53 percent of voters for his Liberal-National Coalition supported same-sex marriage, with just 40 percent opposed – meaning that Mr Abbott is putting off his own supporters over the issue.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said: “This poll shows the Coalition’s decision to block a free vote has isolated it from the majority of Australians who value fairness, love, and equality.

“With a majority of Coalition supporters backing reform, the poll shows the Coalition won’t lose votes if it allows love to win.

“This poll was conducted after the government tried to quash marriage equality, proving Australians saw through the trickery and are undeterred in their support for reform.

“This is a wake up call for the government ahead of the expected Cabinet debate on marriage equality. It’s time for the Coalition to show more respect for the majority of Australians.

“The result also bolsters our confidence that if a fairly-framed plebiscite is held at the election, marriage equality will prevail.”

Related topics: Australia, Australia, civil partnership, civil union, equal marriage, Gay, gay weddings, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, PM, Prime Minister, same sex weddings, Tony Abbott, Union, wedding

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