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Oct 22, 2013

Essential: same-sex marriage opposition falls

Opposition to same-sex marriage is fading, and Tony Abbott's approval is picking up, today's Essential Report finds.

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As the ACT government passes a law allowing same-sex marriage, opposition to same-sex marriage has fallen to an all-time low, today’s Essential Report shows.

Just 31% of voters oppose it, down from 32% in May, down five points since September 2012 and 9 points since March 2011. It is supported by 57% of voters, down one point since May. Those most likely to oppose same-sex marriage are Coalition voters (45% oppose; 41% support) and older voters; women are much more likely to support it (65%) than men (49%).

Tony Abbott has also continued to improve his standing with voters, with 46% approving his performance as Prime Minister and 35% disapproving; that’s up from 41/36% in September. He holds a massive lead over new Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, 41-22%; in fact more voters (37%) say they “don’t know” about their preferred PM than back Shorten. Even 42% of Labor voters say they “don’t know”, compared to 48% who prefer Shorten.

There’s also very strong support for compulsory voting, with 71% of voters backing it, with minimal difference across voting intention or demographics. Only 25% of voters oppose compulsory voting. Voters also think the election of micro-parties in the Senate is good for democracy, 36-26%, although that view isn’t shared by Coalition voters, who think it’s bad for democracy 38-28%. The sentiment is also strongly held in Queensland, where 45% of voters think micro-parties in the Senate are good for democracy.

On voting intention, the government is on 44% (up one) and Labor on 43% (down one); the Greens are steady on 10% and Others are down one on 11%; the two-party preferred result is 53-47%.

Bernard Keane — Politics Editor

Bernard Keane

Politics Editor

Bernard Keane is Crikey’s political editor. Before that he was Crikey’s Canberra press gallery correspondent, covering politics, national security and economics.

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