Poll Shows Australian Public Balks At Marriage Equality Plebiscite When It Sees Price Tag

Australian advocates have welcomed a new poll showing support for a plebiscite on marriage equality plummets by 24% when voters realise how much it could cost.

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An Essential Media Poll released today found 43% support for a national vote on marriage equality when voters know it could cost $150 (AUD) million, compared to 67% support without that background information when Essential asked voters about a plebiscite in September.

Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said,

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“The Essential poll clearly shows support for a plebiscite collapses when voters are are aware how much it will cost.”

“Most Australians would prefer that money spent on schools, hospitals and other essential services.”

“Our preference is for marriage equality to be resolved in parliament, and in the light of this poll we call on the Government to reconsider this path forward.”

“After a decade of opinion polls showing majority support for marriage equality Australians want their elected representatives to get on with it.”

“If there is to be a plebiscite, it should be at the next election to reduce cost and delay.”

The Essential Media poll found support for a plebiscite and for a vote in parliament to be neck and neck when respondents were made aware of the cost of a plebiscite.

The Australian Electoral Commission has estimated a plebiscite would cost $150 million to conduct after the next general election. It would be significantly less if held at the election.

In August the Coalition Party room resolved to conduct a plebiscite on marriage equality in response to the co-sponsored marriage equality bill championed by Queensland Liberal MP, Warren Entsch.

For details of the Essential Media poll, click here.

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