Big tick for same-sex marriage as Labor gains: Ipsos poll

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has regained the lead as preferred prime minister. AAP/Julian Smith

More than two-thirds of voters support legalising same-sex marriage in a Fairfax/Ipsos poll that shows Labor again ahead of the Coalition on a two-party basis.

The poll also found 57% believed that in the area where they lived it was not affordable for a first-time buyer to purchase a home; 40% said it was. Bill Shorten has regained a narrow lead as preferred prime minister: 42%, up three points since May, to Tony Abbott’s 41%, down three points.

The opposition’s two-party margin is now 53-47%, compared with the Ipsos poll immediately after the budget, which saw the government and Labor level. This was inconsistent with other polls at the time.

Labor’s primary vote is up two points since May to 37%; the Coalition has fallen three points to 40%.

Tony Abbott’s approval is down two points to 40%; his disapproval has risen by four points to 54%, for a net approval of minus 14.

Shorten’s approval is unchanged at 41%; his disapproval is up two points to 47%. His net approval is minus six.

The Ipsos poll confirms other surveys in indicating same-sex marriage has strong support – 68% are in favour and only 25% against. This is a rise of three points since the question was asked in a Fairfax poll in 2013.

However, the issue is becoming increasingly politically complicated for Abbott. Some Liberals are strongly backing a conscience vote, but there is an increasing backlash from conservatives in the party and in the Coalition’s base campaigning to keep its present policy of opposition to same-sex marriage and to prevent Liberal MPs being allowed a conscience vote.

Same-sex marriage is supported in the poll by a majority of Coalition voters (57%) and overwhelming majorities of ALP (74%) and Green (90%) voters.

There are differences between age groups but all are in favour: 18-24 (86%); 25-39 (75%); 40-54 (72%); 55 and over (53%).

Women are more likely than men to support same-sex marriage (74-63%), as are Australian-born compared with foreign-born (71-60%).

On housing, opinions about affordability for first-time buyers varies according to where people live. Among those living outside capital cities, 60% believe housing is affordable in their area, and 35% do not.

Only 29% of capital city residents think buying a first home is affordable – 69% do not. In Sydney just 18% say buying a first home in their area is affordable; an overwhelming 80% disagree. The poll of 1401 was taken Thursday to Saturday.

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