Support for the Yes campaign on marriage equality is slipping

Thousands gather to rally for marriage equality on September 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia ahead of a national postal survey. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams/ Getty Images.

A new poll shows support among Australian voters for legalising same-sex marriage has been falling, right as millions of people have received their paperwork for the national postal survey on changing the Marriage Act.

The Newspoll published in The Australian today shows support for change has slipped from 63 per cent a month ago to 57 per cent now.

The No campaign has run hard on the question of religious freedoms over the past week, and the Yes campaign has taken criticism from some people for text messages being sent over the weekend urging people to support change.

The Yes side has the overwhelming support of the business community.

The Newspoll found 15 per cent of voters had returned their ballots while a further 67 per cent said they “definitely” would vote. Another 7 signalled they would “probably” participate.

These high levels of intended turnout indicated are encouraging for the Yes campaign. The Newspoll has a margin of error of 2.4% which still puts Yes in a comfortable lead, but final turnout is difficult to predict given the unusual survey mechanism. The high degree of accuracy of Australian polling for elections is supported by compulsory voting, but in this case, there remains a possibility that the result could be close, raising the prospect of the findings being open to challenge, given some of the problems being reported with ballot papers.

The fall in support for change was across demographics, including some younger cohorts of voters, with those aged 35 to 49 saying they’d vote Yes falling from 64 to 56 per cent. Support among those aged between 50 and 64 fell from 64 per cent to 51 per cent.

Head over to The Australian for the full Newspoll results >>

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