Poll finds majority of Australians support free vote if marriage plebiscite blocked
The majority of Australians are in favour of parliamentarians having a free vote if the Government fail to hold a plebiscite over equal marriage.
A poll released on Tuesday suggested 53 percent of voters believe parliament should have a free vote, compared to 20 percent who thought it shouldn’t.
Pressure has grown on the Government to withdraw or amend the bill after Labor signalled they are likely to block it in favour of equal marriage being introduced through a parliamentary vote alone.
Even voters of the Prime Minster’s own Liberal National Coalition believe parliament should have a free vote, 46 percent to 38.
After consulting with LGBT leaders on Monday, leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, suggested it was likely his party would oppose the plebiscite bill.
He said: “[Malcolm] Turnbull on the weekend [has] been sending signals that he wants to have compromise.
“Compromise is letting your own MPs vote according to their conscience in parliament.”
Officially, the party will decide its position in three weeks time, when the parliamentary party meets.
However, it’s expected the party will support Mr Shorten, who seems to be leaning in favour of opposing the bill.
In the same survey, Australians were asked if they agreed with the law changing to support the introduction of same-sex marriage.
60 percent said they did, 30 percent didn’t and ten percent were still undecided.
Additionally, almost 70 percent disagreed with $15 million being spent on the yes and no camps and almost half thought the poll could lead to an increase of hate speech or discrimination against the LGBT community.
The bill for the plebiscite was introduced into parliament earlier this month by the Government.
Last week, a Senator who opposes same-sex marriage was confronted by her brother on national TV.
National Senator Bridget McKenzie was questioned by her brother over her position to oppose equal marriage regardless of public opinion or the plebiscite.