The final Roy Morgan Poll on ‘The Voice’ shows 54% of Australians set to vote ‘No’ to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice with only 46% voting ‘Yes’. This Roy Morgan Poll was conducted over the last eleven days from Monday October 2 – Thursday October 12.
Respondents around Australia were asked: “This month’s referendum proposes a law to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. At the referendum to be held on October 14, will you vote yes, no, or are you undecided?”
Respondents who were ‘Undecided’ were then asked, “Well, which way are you leaning in the referendum? Yes or No.” This additional question was first asked of undecided respondents on Monday October 2.
Of all respondents a majority of 51% said they would vote ‘No’, or were leaning towards voting ‘No’, 44% said they would vote ‘Yes’, or were leaning towards voting ‘Yes’ and a further 5% were still ‘Undecided’ only days before the referendum is held.
How Roy Morgan decided to allocate electors who were still ‘Undecided’ on ‘The Voice’
Firstly, it is worth noting that even if all those who are still undecided vote ‘Yes’, the ‘Yes’ vote would still be too low (at 49%) to carry the referendum.
In order to understand the ‘undecided’ voters, Roy Morgan undertook further research by re-interviewing 147 respondents who were initially interviewed from Monday September 25 – Sunday October 1, 2023, and at that time were ‘undecided’.
Of these 147 respondents, 43, had now made up their mind and decided which way they would vote and 36 now indicated they were leaning towards one side or the other. Of these 79 undecided respondents two-thirds indicated they were now leaning towards voting ‘No’ compared to one-third who indicated they were leaning towards voting ‘Yes’.
If the remaining 5% of ‘Undecided’ respondents from interviewing over the last eleven days (October 2-12, 2023) are allocated two-thirds to ‘No’ and one-third to ‘Yes’ the final Yes/No split of responses is 54% set to vote ‘No’ compared to 46% set to vote ‘Yes’.
The results of the re-interviewing support past experience with surveys conducted before previous referenda which have shown that ‘Undecided’ voters are far more likely to end up as a ‘No’ rather than a ‘Yes’ vote.
This special Roy Morgan survey was conducted with an Australia-wide cross-section of 1,419 Australian electors via telephone (mobile and landline) aged 18+ from Monday October 2 - Thursday October 12, 2023.
‘No’ vote leads in five States while ‘Yes’ vote leads only in Victoria
The road to a successful referendum requires not only a majority of people nationally but also a majority of people in a majority of states (at least four out of six).
Roy Morgan surveying on ‘The Voice’ over the last eleven days shows support for ‘The Voice’ is highest in Victoria with the State set to be the only one to vote ‘Yes’.
At the last Australian referendum on a Republic in 1999 Victoria was the State with the highest support for an Australian Republic with 49.8% of Victorians voting ‘Yes’ compared to 50.2% voting ‘No’.
The next closest State to voting ‘Yes’ for ‘The Voice’ is New South Wales. However, those set to vote ‘No’ are attracting a higher share of the vote, but not yet a majority.
In the four other States a majority of respondents say they will vote ‘No’ or are leaning towards voting ‘No’. The largest majority set to vote ‘No’ is in Queensland.
In the 1999 referendum on a Republic the largest majority voting against the Republic was in Queensland with 62.6% voting ‘No’ and only 37.4% voting ‘Yes’.
The ‘gender gap’ continues with a majority of men opposed and women narrowly in favour
The ‘gender gap’ in voting sentiment has continued with a clear majority of men set to vote ‘No’ to ‘The Voice’ while there are more women who say they will vote ‘Yes’ rather than ‘No’.
People who have already voted far more likely to have voted ‘No’
Roy Morgan asked respondents on this survey if they had already voted.
For those who have already voted over three-fifths (63%) said they voted ‘No’ compared to only 37% who said they voted ‘Yes’.
For those Australians who have not yet voted (the vast majority of Australians) the result was far closer with the result split evenly down the middle.
The latest figures from the Australian Electoral Commission released on Thursday October 12 indicate that approximately 4 million Australians have already voted out of a total of 17,676,347 people on the Australian electoral roll – equivalent to 23% of electors, nearly one-in-four.
Australians surveyed were each asked the following question(s):
- “This month’s referendum proposes a law to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. At the referendum to be held on October 14, will you vote yes, no, or are you undecided?” Yes: 40% (up 3% from the week of September 25 – October 1); No: 46% (unchanged) and Undecided: 14% (down 3%).
- Respondents who were ‘Undecided’ were then asked, “Well, which way are you leaning in the referendum? Yes or No.” This is the first time this question has been asked of undecided respondents.
- ‘Yes’, or leaning towards voting ‘Yes’, 44% (including 4% who were ‘undecided’ but are leaning towards ‘Yes’) cf. ‘No’, or leaning towards ‘No’, 51% (including 5% who were ‘undecided’ but are leaning towards ‘No’) cf. ‘Undecided’ 5% (down 9% after ‘Undecided’ voters are prompted which way the are leaning).
- Respondents were then asked “Have you already voted in the referendum?” Yes or No.
- Previous question asked in December 2022, April 2023 and May 2023 was: "If a referendum were held today that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament would you vote Yes, No or are you undecided?”
This special Roy Morgan survey was conducted with an Australia-wide cross-section of 1,419 Australian electors aged 18+ from Monday October 2 – Thursday October 12, 2023.
(Full demographic results of this Roy Morgan Poll available in the PDF)
See previous releases (and in the attached PDF) for detailed tables on the results of previous surveys on ‘The Voice to Parliament’ conducted in December 2022, April 2023, May 2023 & September 2023.
For further comment or more information contact:
Michele Levine 0411 129 093 or Gary Morgan 0411 129 094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Margin of Error
The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.
|Sample Size||Percentage Estimate|
|40% – 60%||25% or 75%||10% or 90%||5% or 95%|