Menu Close
Michelle Haywood/AAP

Voice support falls in Newspoll to new low, but is up in Resolve though still well behind

The referendum on the Indigenous Voice to parliament will be held on Saturday. Polls close at 6pm AEDT in the south-eastern states, 6:30pm in South Australia, 7pm in Queensland, 7:30pm in the Northern Territory and 9pm in Western Australia.

I expect counting to be faster than at a federal election, as there’s just one question with a yes/no response, not multiple candidates. Ordinary votes cast at election day or pre-poll booths should be counted on election night. Postal and absent votes will be counted in the following weeks.

For a referendum to succeed, it requires a majority in at least four of the six states as well as a national majority. Polls imply there is no realistic chance of a national “yes” majority, so the double majority is a moot point.

A national Newspoll, conducted October 3–6 from a sample of 1,225, gave “no” to the Voice a 58–34 lead, out from 56–36 in the previous Newspoll, two weeks ago. With the 8% undecided excluded, “no” led by 63–37.

Here is the updated 2023 Voice polls graph. It includes the latest polls from Newspoll, Resolve, Morgan and YouGov (only one point so far for YouGov). In Resolve and last week’s Essential, “yes” has gained ground, but in other polls “yes” continues to fall.

2023 Voice polls.

Labor led by 53–47 on voting intentions, a one-point gain for the Coalition. Primary votes were 36% Coalition (steady), 34% Labor (down two), 12% Greens (up one), 5% One Nation (down one) and 13% for all Others (up two).

Anthony Albanese’s ratings were 46% dissatisfied (up two) and 45% satisfied (down two), for a net approval of -1. After slumping to net -20 in the previous Newspoll, Peter Dutton’s net approval jumped seven points to -13. Albanese’s lead as better PM was reduced to 50–33, from 50–30 previously, its narrowest since the election.

Here is a graph of Albanese’s net approval in Newspoll, showing the continued drop in his ratings since late 2022.

Albanese net approval in Newspoll.

Large-sample Resolve poll gives ‘no’ a 56–44 lead

A national Resolve poll for Nine newspapers was conducted over two weeks (September 22 to October 4) from a sample of 4,728. This sample is about three times Resolve’s normal sample of 1,600.

“No” to the Voice led in this poll by 56–44 after a forced choice question, in from a 57–43 “no” lead in early September. Initial preferences were 49% “no” (steady), 38% “yes” (up three) and 13% undecided (down three).

Tasmania was the only state where “yes” led, by 56–44. In New South Wales, “no” led by 52–48, in Victoria by 54–46, in SA by 55.5–44.5, in WA by 61–39 and in Queensland “no” led by 64–36.

This state data suggests that if “yes” somehow got over 50% in Saturday’s results, “yes” would win majorities in four states by adding six points to the current “yes” vote in every state, and so a double majority could be attained with SA the key state. But it’s very unrealistic to expect such a result.

This is the first gain for “yes” in Resolve’s Voice polls since April, when the “yes” lead increased from 57–43 in March to 58–42. By June, “no” was ahead by 51–49, and the “no” lead increased to 57–43 in September.

A key theme of the “no” campaign has been “if you don’t know vote no”. In this poll, 29% said they were happy to cast their ballot on the principles of the Voice without knowing the design, while 60% wanted more information.

Morgan poll: ‘no’ leads by 46–37

A Morgan Voice poll, conducted September 25 to October 1 from a sample of 909, gave “no” to the Voice a 46–37 lead, out from a 44–39 “no” lead the previous week. With undecided excluded, “no” led by 56–44, out from 53–47. Morgan’s two online Voice polls have been relatively favourable to “yes”.

Morgan’s weekly federal poll last week gave Labor a 52–48 lead, a two-point gain for the Coalition since the previous week. Primary votes were 37.5% Coalition, 32.5% Labor, 13% Greens and 17% for all Others. This poll was conducted September 25 to October 1 from a sample of 1,406.

YouGov Voice poll: ‘no’ leads by 53–38

Newspoll is now being conducted by Pyxis, but until mid-July it was conducted by YouGov. YouGov is now doing its own polls. A national YouGov poll, conducted September 25–29 from a sample of 1,563, gave “no” a 53–38 lead. “Yes” was ahead by 48–41 in inner metropolitan seats, but “no” was far ahead in all other regions.

Labor led by 53–47 on voting intentions from primary votes of 35% Coalition, 33% Labor, 13% Greens and 19% for all Others. Albanese’s net approval was -3, while Dutton’s was -17, with Albanese leading Dutton by 50–33 as preferred PM.

A national poll on the monarchy, conducted September 2–5 from a sample of 1,203, had net approval ratings for various United Kingdom royals and Australian politicians.

Prince William was at net +49, King Charles at net +10, Penny Wong at net +8, Jacqui Lambie at net +8, Tanya Plibersek at net +2, David Littleproud at net -6, Adam Bandt at net -12, Pauline Hanson at net -16, Prince Harry at net -17, Duchess Meghan Markle at net -32 and Prince Andrew at net -48.

UK Labour has huge win at Scottish byelection

I covered last Thursday’s UK byelection in Rutherglen for The Poll Bludger, in which Labour overturned a 10-point Scottish National Party margin in 2019 to win by 31 points. There will be two byelections in Conservative-held seats on October 19.

The ousting of Kevin McCarthy as United States House Speaker, the October 15 Polish election and a pro-Russia party winning the most seats at the September 30 Slovakian election were also covered.

Want to write?

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 185,100 academics and researchers from 4,982 institutions.

Register now