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Australians are voting in favour of same sex marriage

This special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey was conducted over last weekend of October 6-8, 2017 with a representative cross-section of 1,554 Australians aged 18+.

It’s Official: A majority of Australians have or intend to vote in favour of same sex marriage in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey currently being conducted around Australia.

As reported on Monday night by Michele Levine on ABCTV’s Q&A a special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey taken last weekend finds the majority of Australians have already completed and posted the survey back.

Although some respondents declined to answer the follow-up question – ‘How did you vote/How will you vote – Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?’ Yes/No – the overall result showed 61.5% of Australians voting ‘Yes’, 17.5% voting ‘No’ while a further 21% didn’t answer the question or have no intention of voting.

Although these results are slightly inconclusive on the exact margin of the final result, they do provide a degree of certainty that the plebiscite will be carried nationwide.

In addition, further analysis shows significant majorities voting ‘Yes’ in each State.

This special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey was conducted over last weekend of October 6-8, 2017 with a representative cross-section of 1,554 Australians aged 18+.


Questions:

“Have you voted in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey?” Respondents who have voted or who intend to vote were then asked: “How did you vote/How will you vote. Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?” All respondents who replied to a question were then asked: “And why do you say that” – Detailed verbatim responses follow on from these tables.


Analysis by Voting Preference:
How did you vote/How will you vote?

Analysis of supporters of various political parties shows 92% of Greens supporters are voting ‘Yes’ to the change along with 77% of ALP supporters. However, the L-NP’s prevarication on the issue is clear when one looks at the voting statistics for Liberal supporters and National supporters – less than half of the supporters of these parties have so far voted, or intend to vote ‘Yes’ to the proposal.

Total

Electors

Liberal

National

ALP

Greens

Other

Can’t say

Non
Electors

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

61.5

62.5

40.5

33

77

92

63

56.5

70

No

17.5

17.5

30.5

41.5

8

0.5

20.5

13

0

No answer
or Not voting

21

20

29

25.5

15

7.5

16.5

30.5

30

Total NOT Yes

38.5

37.5

59.5

67

23

8

37

43.5

30

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Analysis by Gender & Age:
How did you vote/How will you vote?

Analysing voting patterns by gender shows that a clear majority of women (66.5%) are voting in favour of the reform, a higher proportion than for men (56%) and nearly twice as many men (23%) say they are voting no compared to only 12.5% of women.

Analysing by age group shows a clear correlation between voting patterns given someone’s age with 81% of 18-24yr olds voting ‘Yes’, and also large majorities of those aged 25-34 (70%) and those aged 35-49 (69.5%). However, a bare majority of those aged 50-64 (52%) are voting ‘Yes’ and less than half of those aged 65+ (48.5%) are voting ‘Yes’.

Total

Gender

Age

Men

Women

18-24

25-34

35-49

50-64

65+

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

61.5

56

66.5

81

70

69.5

52

48.5

No

17.5

23

12.5

6.5

15.5

14.5

23

21.5

No answer
or Not voting

21

21

21

12.5

14.5

16

25

30

Total NOT Yes

38.5

44

33.5

19

30

30.5

48

51.5

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Analysis by State: How did you vote/How will you vote?

Support for the change is also consistent across the country with clear majorities in all six States opting to vote ‘Yes’ in favour of changing the law. The State with the largest support for the change is Victoria in which 69.5% of respondents are voting ‘Yes’ to the change – not surprising when you consider this is the only State in the country with a Lower House Greens MP, while 55.5% of South Australians are voting ‘Yes’ which is slightly below Queensland (57%) as the States least keen on the change.

Total

State

Region

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

City

Country

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Yes

61.5

58

69.5

57

63.5

55.5

63.5

62.5

60.5

No

17.5

21.5

13.5

18.5

14

18.5

17.5

17

18

No answer
or Not voting

21

20.5

17

24.5

22.5

26

19

20.5

21.5

Total NOT Yes

38.5

42

30.5

43

36.5

44.5

36.5

37.5

39.5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


Q3 – Qualitative Responses to follow up question:
“And why do you say that?”

Those who answered 'Yes' most frequently mentioned equal rights for everybody, equality before the law, social justice, that everyone should have the right to marry, that it is discriminatory to think otherwise, because love is love, human rights – these were the overwhelming majority of respondents voting yes.

Others also mentioned because its common sense and the laws of a modern society need to move with the times. We also had some respondents personally impacted who expressed a wish to marry their partners of in some cases many years. In addition, a very few respondents were just “over” the issue in general, and were voting yes to settle the issue once and for all.


Equal rights & equality before the law for everybody, everyone should have the right to marry:

“Because equality means equality for all.”

“Human rights are non-negotiable.”

“Equal rights. Denying same sex couples equal status before the law is a violation of human rights.”

 “It’s the right thing to do. Sexual discrimination shouldn’t be enshrined in Australian law.”

“Because everyone should have the opportunity to be in an unhappy marriage.”

“Marriage should be for all people who want it.”

“It’s a basic human right.”

“Because everyone should have equal rights.”

“Everyone should have the same rights no matter who you choose to partner with.”

“Because it’s unbelievable that in 2017 that any minority group can be so blatantly, but legally, discriminated against.”

 “I think everyone should have equal rights.”

“Because I believe in equality for all Australians.”

 “Equality for legal rights.”

“Because I believe in equal rights for everybody. I’m a 77 year old female. Marriage is a man-made law.”

“Morally it’s the right thing to do.”

“Because two consenting adults who are in love should be allowed to marry. We are behind many countries with this, we look ridiculous.”

“I support marriage equality even though I don’t support this plebiscite.”

“I want to marry my partner of the past 12 years.”


No good reason not to – laws need to move with the times as societies evolve:

“No ethical reason why two people shouldn’t be allowed to marry.”

“Because religious undertones in society are archaic.”

“It’s the right thing to do – no discrimination in my society.”

“Love is love.”


There were some respondents who were over the issue and simply wanted it to go away:

“Issue fatigue. I believe it was the only way to end the debate. I was worried if the no side won we’d be subjected to a continuing campaign.”

“I’m sick of hearing about it in the media and wanted it to become history.”

“I want the marriage equality debate to be over, I’m sick of hearing about it.”

“Don’t feel strongly, I’m not opposed to same sex marriage though.”


Those who answered 'No' 
asserted the issue was the ‘thin edge of the wedge’, and mentioned worries about how this may impact other religious and relationship beliefs down the track. Others mentioned it was a personal belief, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and many expressed simply that they understood marriage to be between a man and a woman.

Some respondents did mention that it contravened their religious beliefs, while others mentioned concerns for free speech, and said that equality doesn’t mean sameness and that same sex couples could have their own agreement. Some also mentioned the way the Yes advocates campaigned as turning them into No voters with other respondents prepared to say their reasons were ‘None of your business’.

Concerns about what’s next, the ‘slippery slope’, safe schools program with kids:

“I would like to avoid the slippery slope, the indoctrination of children in schools, and the celebration of homosexuality as normal. It’s an aberration, and mustn’t be called marriage.”

“Because we don’t know what changes are going to be made by the Government down the track.”

 “Because I will not be bullied and told which way to vote and I worry about the consequence after hearing them carry on about safe schools program. It’s wrong so a big no from me.”

 “Personally I have no problems with same sex couples and have friends that are in same sex relationships but there’s more at stake than that. I don’t trust where this leads us with bigger agendas and politicians so in that light I voted the way I did.”

“This is the beginning of something sinister regarding for instance the safe schools program.”

“My family values and the precedents from other countries that I’ve seen. The ties to the ‘safe schools’ program and the implications for my kids worry me.”

“For the mental health of our children.”


Worried about restrictions on free speech and religious rights:

“I have concerns for free speech, changes to education for young children also children not knowing who their father/ mother is. This doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be loved.”

“Although I believe that everyone should have the same legal rights I am concerned about the freedom of speech/ freedom of religion implications and the lack of detail or legislative proposals.”

“I don’t like being bullied into a yes vote by the media or the vote yes text. And while I’m not religious I am concerned about the impact on religious freedom.”

“A yes would have many consequences for freedom of speech and religion so a no it is.”

“Because it’s an issue of freedom and it’s my right and choice.”


A personal or a religious belief against this law change:

“I believe the definition of marriage is one woman and one man.”

“I believe traditional marriage is best for our society.”

“Because God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman in order to procreate.”

“I believe in the biblical teachings on marriage.”

“Because I am not an advocate for same sex relationships.”

“It’s a religious conviction.”

“I would like to protect traditional marriage.”

“I am not ethically against it but object to changing the meaning of the word ‘marriage’."

“I see no reasonable reason for such a move to change the definition of the word ‘marriage’.”

“Conscience and faith beliefs. Equality already under family law passed in 2008. ‘All about love’ is in contrast to the vitriolic yes campaign. Very sad.”

“Because of traditional marriage.”

“Marriage is between a man and a woman. Gay people can’t produce naturally.”

“Same sex couples don’t need to marry in order to have the same legal rights as heterosexuals.”

“Not natural. Can’t make babies.”

“I’m old school and believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman.”


The behaviour of ‘Yes’ campaigners had convinced them to vote against the question:

“Didn’t appreciate the ‘Yes’ campaign pressure because I don’t like being told how to vote.”

“Yes campaign antics against No voters. Was going to vote yes.”

“My reasons surely remain private.”

“The vitriol from the ‘Yes’ vote.”

“None of your business.”

“Mostly because of the behaviour of the ‘Yes’ campaign and also as I want to see protections place.”


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australia’s contentious Marriage Law Post Survey may not be officially closing until Melbourne Cup Day (Tuesday November 7), however a Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey conducted last weekend in preparation for Monday night’s ABCTV Q&A a majority of Australians (61.5%) say they are backing the ‘Yes’ campaign to change the law to allow same sex marriage.

“The issue of same sex marriage has traditionally been thought of as an issue that divides supporters of different political parties, and also that divides younger Australians from their parents, and especially grandparents. These differences are borne out in the results of the Roy Morgan SMS Survey.

“Significantly there is little variance between different States with majorities in each State voting in favour of the change. This is important as several Liberal and National Senators & MPs have pledged to follow either the overall national vote, the vote in their State, or the vote of their own electorate in deciding whether to vote in favour of same sex marriage legislation.

“Analysing supporters of different parties more closely shows there is almost unanimous support for the change amongst Greens voters (92% in favour, only 0.5% against), and the result is similar for ALP voters (77% in favour and 8% against).

“However, even amongst Liberal voters there are more voting ‘Yes’ for the change (40.5%) than voting ‘No’ (30.5%) – although the balance of 29% of Liberal voters either refused to indicate their preference or aren’t planning to vote in the postal plebiscite. Even if one makes the assumption most of this cohort are voting against the change it means Liberal voters are split fairly evenly on the issue.

”Analysing age groups shows a clear trend with 84% of 18-24 year olds voting in favour of same sex marriage and only 7.5% opposed, whereas 48.5% of those aged 65+ years old are voting ‘Yes’ to the change and 21.5% are voting ‘No’. However, a large proportion of those aged 65+ (30%) either refused to indicate a preference or aren’t planning on voting on the plebiscite.

“The takeaway from this special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey is that once results are officially announced on November 15 in a month’s time the Parliament, which is sitting in the last week of November, will likely pass a bill legalising same sex marriage before the end of the year.

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will regard the passage of a same sex marriage bill as something of a personal ‘victory’ against the more ‘conservative’ forces in the Liberal Party who have very publically opposed the PM on the issue. The added benefit for PM Turnbull is that with the issue resolved it can’t be used against the Government by the Opposition in the lead-up to the next Federal Election – which is still not due until mid-2019 more than 18 months away.”

Finding No. 7368 – This special Roy Morgan Snap SMS Survey was conducted in preparation for an appearance on ABCTV’s Q&A program on Monday October 9, 2017 with a representative cross-section of 1,554 Australians over the weekend, Friday October 6 – Sunday October 8, 2017. They were asked “Have you voted in the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey?” Respondents who have voted or who intend to vote were then asked: “How did you vote/How will you vote. Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?”


Roy Morgan SMS Polling was extremely accurate at both the last two Federal Elections.

Results analysed by Roy Morgan Helix Personas are available on a subscription basis.
www.HelixPersonas.com.au


For further information:

Contact

Office

Mobile

Gary Morgan:     

+61 3 9224 5213  

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:       

+61 3 9224 5215  

+61 411 129 093