As more Australians start to evaluate Albanese's proposed "Voice" referendum, more oppose it.



Poll results and events leading to vote.

The majority of Australians support Constitutional recognition, but not with a Voice for Indigenous people (58%); and say that the Voice is a major change (44%), that Corporate involvement was not appropriate (44%) and that colonialisation was positive (40%).

The recent Resolve poll shows that 42% of Australians say that the 'No' campaign was better and 24% say that 'Yes23' was better.

Consequently the 'No' vote increased by 3% during September and another 2% in the first week of October.

There has been a flurry of activity by the Yes23 campaign during the final days but the more that the public has engaged, the more that they have been turned off the proposition.

Poll results in chart for 'Voice referendum from Newspoll and Roy Morgan

Consecutive poll results from 1st September to 12th October 2023 for 'Voice' referundum

Highlights from the media:

Support from Indigenous people has dropped 20%

A key claim by Anthony Albanese about significant support for the proposed Voice to Parliament among Indigenous people has been rubbished by a shock new poll.

The Age newspaper has published research showing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in favour of the Voice is sitting at just 59 per cent.

While that represents a clear majority, it is dramatically lower than the 80 per cent figure repeatedly cited by the Prime Minister and the official Yes campaign. Two polls surveying Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people's views on the Indigenous Voice commissioned in early 2023 by The Uluru Dialogue, a pro-Voice lobby group, were conducted online by Ipsos and YouGov. Both found broad support for the Voice: 80% in the Ipsos survey and 83% in the YouGov survey. The YouGov result compared to 51% support in the broader population.

“Our latest poll now puts Indigenous support at 59 per cent using a more robust sample of 420 people and a consistent methodology with those polls,” pollster Jim Reed told The Age.

“This tells us that the Yes vote has declined at much the same rate as [in] the general population over the last year. It’s still in the majority, but certainly not universal.”

Mr Albanese repeated the claim that 80 per cent of First Nations people back the Voice as recently as six days previously.

More Australians believe colonisation was overall a good thing for Indigenous people

‘No’ Campaigner and Indigenous Affairs spokeswoman Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said colonisation had been a good thing for Indigenous people.

New polling by Resolve has followed this statement up and it was shown that more Australians believe colonisation was overall a good thing for Indigenous people than it was negative.
“It found 38 per cent of people found it had been positive – 23 per cent negative but another 38 per cent saying unsure or mixed."

However, when participants were asked whether colonisation has resulted in intergenerational trauma for Indigenous people, the poll found 40 per cent believed it had. 28% did not, and 38% were unsure or undecided.

Most Australians support Constitutional recognition without a Voice of Indigenous people.

Resolve polling report shows a majority of 58 per cent of Australians are in favour of Constitutional recognition of Indigenous people without a Voice being attached. Only 27 per cent are against and 15 per cent undecided.

The majority of 44% of Australians say that the Voice is a significant change to Parliament.

The modest 23% agree with Albanese who said at the outset that it is a modest change. 32% are unsure or undecided.

The majority of Australians said that the No campaign was better (42% No campaign better, 24% Yes23 campaign better and 34% unsure).

The majority of Australians said that Corporate involvement was Not appropriate (44% Yes, 29% No and 26% Unsure).

The conclusion from the Resolve poll is that more that Australians have seen or heard of this debate, and the more they have engaged, the more they have been turned off the proposition.

“High-profile Labor MPs have failed to convince a majority of voters in their electorates to vote Yes.”

Crickey posted that, according to the polling in The Australian Financial Review, a final indignity may be inflicted on the Yes campaign in general and the Labor Party in particular — not only are they facing the prospect of collapsing national support - but the possibility they could fail to make believers out of their own constituencies. The AFR reports that “a string of high-profile Labor MPs have failed to convince a majority of voters in their electorates to vote Yes in the Voice referendum, according to polling that signals many progressive seats are on track to vote No”.

This includes Linda Burney, elected Indigenous Australians Minister. 

Peter Dutton asked for detail from PM in a letter that he wrote in January and he mentioned this again on Voting day

Peter Dutton Liberal leader Peter Dutton has accused the Prime Minister of making a “catastrophic mistake” that doomed the Yes case to fail as voters prepare to head to the polls on Saturday.

Mr Dutton, who has led the campaign against the referendum with Liberal Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, said “I think the Prime Minister made a catastrophic mistake in not providing the details to Australians.”

“He’s instinctively won their hearts because Australians do want better outcomes for Indigenous Australians, but he hasn’t won their minds.

“And that’s the reality for a vast majority of Australians in my judgement, and I hope that people will vote No on the weekend not to reject the proposition of helping or recognising Indigenous Australians — quite the opposite.

“But people roundly have rejected the Voice proposal and the Prime Minister wrote a cheque that he couldn’t cash.”

Peter Dutton asked for detail from PM in a letter that he wrote in January with fifteen questions and he mentioned this again on Voting day, but the success of the No campaign has drawn personal attack while the Yes23 campaign was faltering.

Peter Dutton answered a question about causing fear and division on Weekend Sunrise. Click here to listen.

Peter Dutton answered a question about saying "If you don't understand it, vote No". Click here to listen.

Crikey, ended the campaign with a personal attack on the leader of the opposition:  “It’s no secret Opposition Leader Peter Dutton is a person for whom the words truth and integrity are of little to no importance.

“Where dwells political self-interest and opportunism, there goes Dutton. Such traits stand in the space vacated by his moral compass, guiding his every move and every word, making him instinctively impervious to the clashing gongs of judgment.

“Yet if we dared journey through the looking glass, among the causes — perhaps the overriding cause — for a No victory, assuming it comes to pass, would be Dutton and the cavalcade of nodding, solipsistic spivs that pass for much of the Coalition and its former members.

“It’s not so much that Dutton and co decided to withhold bipartisan support for the Voice. It’s that they did so on such utterly dishonest and dangerous terms...

“It therefore cannot plausibly excite any wonder or surprise that Dutton’s deliberate decision to torch the very conditions on which democracy relies... ”

Wow, shouldn’t Dutton have asked the Prime Minster for detail, again and again? Polling shows a majority of 58 per cent of Australians are in favour of Constitutional recognition of Indigenous people without a Voice being attached. Polling also shows that 57% of Australians do not support Constitutional recognition of the Voice for Indigenous people.

It is likely that the divide that has grown during the campaign could have been averted if the missing detail had been provided to the electorate by the Prime Minister when requested instead of platitudes.

Voters ran away from Yes23 like a flock of seagulls

Sky News contributor Joe Hildebrand discussed the Yes campaign.

“When you say we’re a great country and we want to be greater and we can do this by making sure everyone has an equal share in the greatness we have to offer you win votes, you make people feel good,” Mr Hildebrand said.

“When you say we’re a racist country that has a violent dark history and you need to do this to atone for that suddenly the voters are running away like a flock of seagulls.”

‘It’s a disaster’: Natalie Barr tells Anthony Albanese

According to the latest Newspoll, support for the Voice to parliament has fallen further heading into the final week of the campaign.

Sunrise host Natalie Barr has launched a stinging attack on Anthony Albanese during a fiery interview about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Barr opened the heated exchange by referencing the latest polls, telling the PM authoratively: “It’s all over for the Yes campaign?”

But Albanese didn’t agree, replying: “Not at all”.

“We have five days to go which people have the opportunity to examine the opportunity before them,” he said.

The Sunrise host insinuated that Mr Albanese had run a poor campaign.

“At the start of all this, the polls were good, they were in your favour,” she said.
“They have just crashed over the last couple of months. When you look back – what could you have done better?”

A grim-faced Mr Albanese sidestepped the personal attack, saying he was “focused on Saturday”.

Mr Albanese layed part of the blame for the flagging campaign on the lack of bipartisan support and Liberal leader Peter Dutton’s opposition to the Voice.

But Barr was having none of it, describing the Yes campaign as a “disaster” before adding it was also a disaster for Albanese’s leadership.

“It’s like you are on the field and you’ve hobbled,” she said.
“It is like half the team has been subbed off.
“You stood there on election night and you said you would be hanging your hat on this.”

A stunned Albanese defended himself, saying: “This is about an idea, not an individual.”

Barr interrupted: ‘But you stood there and one of the first things you and Penny Wong mentioned on election night was this.’

Albanese then said he didn’t mention it on election night.

Albanese pledged his commitment to the Voice on his election night

The ABC reported Albanese’s pledge from 28th May 2023 “Anthony Albanese's first commitment in his victory speech on election night was to pledge a referendum to enshrine a voice for First Nations people in the Constitution.”

Stan Grant’s caution may in fact turn out to be true later this week when the votes have been cast: “A successful referendum may hinge more on Peter Dutton than Anthony Albanese. Albanese, elected with a dismal primary vote of around 33 per cent, has a tenuous mandate. He can't carry the voice referendum on his own. Albanese would be spending precious political capital. The stakes are high and personal for him.”

Albanese speaking ‘out both sides of his mouth’ on Voice

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is speaking “out both sides of his mouth” when it comes to the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, according to Sky News Senior Reporter Caroline Marcus.

 “On the one hand he’s promising the activists everything they’re asking for on a platter,” Ms Marcus told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“It is right there on his website – where he says he’s fully committed to the Uluru Statement from the Heart which of course does not only include the constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament; it also includes the Makarrata Commission which is the treaty commission.

“The activists are placated because they think all this is happening and then he’s not being fully upfront with voters about the grander plan of things, saying that it’s only one page, the Uluru Statement; forget all those supporting documents.”

Lack of clarity around the Voice to Parliament is confusing remote Aboriginal communities

A Federal Labor MP claims that the lack of clarity around the Voice to Parliament is confusing remote Aboriginal communities. Marion Scrymgour believes the government should have provided more detail before proposing a referendum. Recent polls show waning support for the Voice.

Ms Scrymgour thinks this declining support could stem from the missing details.
She emphasises the importance of clear communication for the cause.

People should be able to discuss their opinions about the Voice to Parliament without the fear of being labelled a "racist" if opposed to the proposal.

Sky News Australia host Erin Molan says people should be able to discuss their opinions about the Voice to Parliament without the fear of being labelled a "racist" if opposed to the proposal.
Molan said that if a person choses to vote No it should not be assumed they are not in support of reconciliation.

"This is not a referendum that asks Australians, 'Do you care and do you want it fixed?' If it was, I'd hazard a guess that 99.9 per cent of this country's voting population would tick a resounding Yes," Molan said.

"This referendum is proposing a specific way of doing that and not thinking it's the right way doesn't mean you don't care."

She declared Australians should be able to freely share their honest views on the constitutional change.

"Feeling the need to hide that from others for fear of being labelled a racist or worse is a sad indictment of a society who should be able to disagree and debate, particularly on issues of critical importance of which the welfare of Indigenous Australians is and absolutely should be," she said.

'Indigenous Australians already have a Voice'

In Sydney at an early voting centre, Damien Pace told the ABC he is voting No because he thinks the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is an existing Indigenous voice to parliament.

"Indigenous Australians already have a voice through the NIAA," Mr Pace said while handing out "Vote No" pamphlets in the inner-city suburb of Ultimo.

Fair Australia states: "There are many Indigenous voices advising the government on the issues that affect them but the government isn't listening."

The Yes campaign contests that idea.

Albanese fear tactics

He said a No outcome could lead to “quite catastrophic” outcomes for Indigenous communities.
“We know that when you consult Indigenous people, you get better outcomes,” he said while continuing to offer platitudes instead of filling in the gaps.

Former Labor MP slams the Voice as ‘racial discrimination'

Former Labor MP Peter Baldwin said “It introduces a new mechanism which provides a way for one racially defined group to exert additional influence on both parliament and the executive government.

“That’s considered to be racial discrimination.

“I just find the whole thing both obnoxious and bizarre.”

Consultation on the Voice to Parliament has been “a bit of a sham”

Barrister Louise Clegg said, “In previous referendums we’ve had constitutional conventions and platforms provided to lawyers and not just lawyers but anyone who wished to contribute and dissent,”

“But that just never happened in this case."

"Consultation on the Voice to Parliament has been a bit of a sham.”

Ms Clegg said Anthony Albanese claimed in a speech at Garma, “there would be opportunities for people to get involved in having a say on it" but that opportunity was never given by the government.

“There was an inquiry, a parliamentary joint selection committee in April but by that point, the bill had already been crafted and was sailing through parliament.”

“It’s dividing the country on the basis of race and we can’t do that”

Former speaker of the house Bronwyn Bishop gives three reasons why she’s voting No on the Voice to Parliament referendum.

“One, because it’s dividing the country on the basis of race and we can’t do that.

“Secondly, it will hand the sovereignty of the parliament to the high court and nobody can predict what they will do.

“Thirdly, the division that has been caused by Albanese as the Prime Minister will be cemented into the Constitution, that is not good for this country."

Observation: It is ironic that ‘No’ voters are labelled as ‘Racists’ yet here we have a ‘No’ voter that is rejecting the ‘Voice’ because it is Racist – based on race.

QANTAS targeted for support of Voice to Parliament

The Australian’s media writer Sophie Elsworth says Qantas have done themselves “no favours” as media outlets target the national airline for its poor service and support of the Voice to Parliament.

Qantas has been facing scrutiny for its illegal sacking of 1,700 staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and its close relationship with the government.

“At the moment, their brand is absolutely tarnished.”


Vote No written on Ayrs Rock background with kangaroos in bright orange


ABC News, 2023i. Major No donor looking to defeat the Voice is an investor in Indigenous land ventures. ABC/News. 10th October 2023.

ABC News, 2023ii. 'Lion's share' of Voice coverage focused on Yes campaign hasn't translated to support, researchers say. ABC/News. 13th October 2023

Grant, Stan, 2023. Albanese has pledged a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. He may face strong headwinds in Dutton. ABC/news. 29th May 2023.

Lewis, Charlie, 2023. The woke money behind the No camp and the daunting data before the Yes camp. Crickey. 11th October 2023.

Mageros, Adrinan, 2023. 'Sad indictment of a society': Australians should be able to 'disagree and debate' Voice without fear of being called 'racist'. SkyNews, Australia, News. 29th September 2023.

Mascarenhas, Carla, 2023i. ‘Was this the best way?’: Yes campaign launch act backfires. 29th September 2023.

Mascarenhas, Carla, 2023ii. ‘It’s a disaster’: Natalie Barr grills Anthony Albanese on Voice. 9th October 2023.

Maiden, Samantha, 2023. Eleventh hour Voice poll shows swing to Yes campaign. 13th October 2023.

McGregor, Maeve, 2023. If No prevails, reserve your harshest judgment for the Coalition. Crikey. 13th October 2023.

Molloy, Shannon, 2023. Anthony Albanese’s key claim about support for the Voice rubbished by new poll. 11th October 2023.

Ransley, Ellen, 2023. PM warns of ‘catastrophic outcomes’ of No vote as Clive Palmer pledges $2m to No camp. 29th September 2023., 2023. Angry reaction as AFL breaks Grand Final promise: ‘Completely unnecessary.’ 30th September 2023.

SkyNews, 2023i. It's 'getting personal': Bolt addresses targeted tweets from Voice Yes supporters. 26th September 2023.

SkyNews, 2023ii. Qantas’ brand has been ‘absolutely tarnished’ Sky News/News. 29th September 2023.

SkyNews, 2023iii. Labor MP raises concerns about Voice to Parliament's clarity for remote communities. Sky News/News. 29th September 2023.

SkyNews, 2023iv. Former Labor MP slams the Voice as ‘racial discrimination'. 2nd October 2023.

SkyNews, 2023v. ‘Bit of a sham’: Adequate consultation on the Voice referendum ‘never happened’ SkyNews/News. 4th October 2023.

SkyNews, 2023vi. Albanese speaking ‘out both sides of his mouth’ on Voice. SkyNews/News. 5th October 2023.

SkyNews, 2023vii. Newspoll: Support for the Voice weakens. SkyNews/News. 9th October 2023

SkyNews, 2023viii. Bronwyn Bishop lists three reasons why she’s voting No on the Voice. SkyNews/News. 11th October 2023.

SkyNews, 2023ix. Where the Yes campaign failed in the Voice referendum. SkyNews. 11th October 2023.

SkyNews, 2023x. Poll reveals majority believe colonisation positive for Indigenous people. SkyNews. 11th October 2023.

Williams, Carly and Sue Lannin, 2023. The No campaign says a voice to parliament already exists in the National Indigenous Australians Agency. Here's what the NIAA does. ABC News. 13th October 2023.


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Background to the campaign for 'The Voice', click here to view.

©Steve Bennett 2023