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- Survey finds 46 per cent of all voters support the Voice to Parliament while 43 per cent are opposed.
- Women lean more towards the Yes side, while men are more likely to vote against it.
- Noel Pearson has accused Opposition leader Peter Dutton of promoting a racially-centred argument.
Support for the Indigenous Voice proposal has the backing of fewer than half of all Australian voters, a survey suggests.
The Newspoll conducted for The Australian newspaper and reported on Sunday night shows 46 per cent of all voters support while 43 per cent are opposed and 11 per cent don’t know.
The survey, of 1,549 voters across the country between 31 May and 3 June, was the first Newspoll to present respondents with the exact question that will be on the ballot paper when the referendum is held this year.
to be put to the Australian people in the referendum is: “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?”
A survey published in The Australian in April, which was an average of three Newspolls conducted between February and April, put support for constitutional change at 54 per cent with 38 per cent opposed and 8 per cent saying they don’t know.
The Newspoll published on Sunday showed women voters mostly in favour of the Yes side by 47 per cent compared to 40 per cent against.
Among male voters, 46 per cent were in the No camp while 45 per cent backed the Yes side.
When divided along party lines, 63 per cent of Labor voters were in favour of the Voice and 24 per cent were opposed while 28 per cent of coalition voters were in favour and 64 per cent against.
Prominent Yes campaigner Noel Pearson on Sunday he had promised he would avoid.
Mr Pearson said the Coalition leader had previously assured him he did not take the Voice to be a racial proposition.
Mr Pearson said he was therefore disappointed when Mr Dutton made a speech to parliament in which he said the Voice would “re-racialise” Australia.
“The disappointing thing about the position taken by Peter Dutton is that I met with him two or three times with (former shadow attorney-general) Julian Leeser,” the Indigenous campaigner told Sky News.
“At those meetings, Peter was very, very clear in what he said to me. He said, ‘I do not agree with the race argument, don’t take me to be making a race argument here’.”
Mr Pearson said Mr Dutton was being “duplicitous” in now taking a different position.
“He’s come back to make this completely dishonest argument about re-racialising the constitution,” he said.
“That is not the position Peter took to me when Julian Leeser was in the room.”
in order to support a Yes campaign for the Voice after the federal Liberal Party decided not to back it.
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