A new poll conducted by Newspoll for The Australian shows majority support for a constitutional Voice to Parliament among Australians ahead of a planned referendum later this year.
The poll results reveal 56% of voters are in favor of the change, with 37% against it, while 28% of those surveyed either “partly” or “strongly” support the proposal.
The prime minister, Anthony Albanese, spoke about the responsibility of Australians to “bring the country together” and improve the lives of First Nations peoples through the Voice.
The purported purpose of the Voice is for consultation and does not have the power of veto or serve as a funding body, according to the Prime Minister.
The opposition leader, Peter Dutton, has led calls for more information about the Voice and attended a recent Referendum Working Group meeting hosted by Albanese.
The poll results show that the main reason for support for the Voice is the belief that it would give a say to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people on policies affecting their lives and ensure their views are heard in Parliament.
Those “strongly” against the change fear it could lead to division in society and favoritism of one group over others. Despite the majority support shown in polling, the similar level of “strong support” for the Yes case as the failed 1999 referendum for a republic suggests the government will still need to convince more voters.
The premiers and chief ministers of Australia signed a “Statement of Intent” to support the constitutionally enshrined Voice at the National Cabinet in Canberra on Friday.
Additionally, the first poll of the year also showed a small dip in Albanese’s personal popularity, with 57% of those surveyed approving of the Prime Minister’s performance, down five points.