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Source: The Conversation (Au and NZ) – By Adrian Beaumont, Election Analyst (Psephologist) at The Conversation; and Honorary Associate, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne

In this week’s federal Newspoll, conducted with a longer-than-usual fieldwork period (June 16–24) from a larger-than-usual sample of 2,303 people, the “no” vote to the Indigenous Voice to Parliament took the lead by 47–43%, reversing a “yes” lead of 46–43% three weeks ago. Newspoll figures are from The Poll Bludger.

This is the first lead for the “no” campaign in a Newspoll. Resolve had the first lead for “no” in any national poll two weeks ago, in a 51–49% result. Essential’s 60–40% lead for the “yes” campaign at the same time may reflect sampling issues. Newspoll and Resolve have far better track records at elections than Essential.

Read more:
Resolve first national poll to have ‘no’ ahead in Voice referendum, but Essential has ‘yes’ far ahead

In the polls from Newspoll and Resolve, support for the Voice has crashed since April. In the April Resolve poll, the “yes” vote was ahead by 58–42%, and in Newspoll it was ahead by 53–39%.

When combined with the early June Newspoll with a total sample size of 3,852 people, the state breakdowns have “yes” ahead only in Victoria by 48–41% and New South Wales by 46–41%.

The “no” campaign led in Queensland by 54–40%, in Western Australia by 52–39%, in South Australia by 46–45% and in Tasmania by 48–43%.

A successful referendum requires a majority in four of the six states and a national majority. This poll suggests “yes” is ahead in just two states.

On June 19, legislation setting up the Voice referendum passed the Senate by 52-19 votes after earlier passing the House of Representatives. The referendum is required between two and six months from this date.

In early May, I wrote that just one of 25 referendums initiated by Labor governments has succeeded, and that those not held with general elections have been defeated more heavily than those held with elections. The crash in Voice support in both the Newspoll and Resolve polls suggest this historical trend may continue.

Read more:
While the Voice has a large poll lead now, history of past referendums indicates it may struggle

Labor’s lead reduced

On voting intentions, Newspoll gave Labor a 54–46% lead over the Coalition, a one-point gain for the Coalition from three weeks ago. Primary votes were 38% Labor (steady), 35% Coalition (up one), 11% Greens (down one), 6% One Nation (steady) and 10% for all others (steady).

This is Labor’s equal-lowest lead in Newspoll since the May 2022 election. Newspoll also gave Labor a 54–46% lead over the Coalition in March, according to The Poll Bludger.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s ratings were 52% satisfied (down three points) and 42% dissatisfied (up five), for a net approval of +10 (down eight points overall). This is his worst net approval in Newspoll since the election. Opposition leader Peter Dutton’s net approval was up three points to -11.

Albanese led Dutton as better prime minister by 52–32%, a narrowing from 55–28% three weeks ago. It is Albanese’s smallest lead over Dutton since the election.

Other polls and Fadden byelection candidates

In last week’s Morgan weekly poll, conducted June 12–18 from a sample of 1,363 people, Labor led the Coalition by 57–43%, a one-point gain for Labor since the previous week. Primary votes were 36.5% for Labor, 34% Coalition, 13% Greens and 16.5% for all others.

In additional questions from last fortnight’s Resolve poll, 37% thought COVID cases had increased recently, 23% believed they had remained about the same and 10% said they had decreased. But 74% of voters said they no longer wore masks in public spaces, compared to 25% who did.

The Lowy Institute released its annual poll of Australians’ attitudes to foreign policy questions last week, though the fieldwork was done in March and April. It tracks respondents’ trust in global powers, confidence in world leaders, perceived threats to Australia’s interests, and attitudes toward China and the United States.

Thirteen candidates will contest the July 15 byelection for the Queensland federal seat of Fadden. At the 2022 election, the Liberal National Party won Fadden by a 60.6–39.4% margin against Labor. I expect the party to hold it easily.

Labor has been advantaged slightly by drawing top position on the ballot paper, while the LNP is 12th.

Liberal David Van now a crossbench senator

Dutton expelled Liberal Senator David Van from the party on June 15 over allegations of sexual misbehaviour, which he denies. While Dutton can expel Van from the party, he can’t force Van to leave parliament. If Van resigns from the Senate, his seat reverts to the Liberals.

Van is now a crossbench senator. He is the second this parliamentary term to become a crossbencher after leaving their party following Lidia Thorpe’s defection from the Greens.

Van was elected in 2019, so his term will end in June 2025. Thorpe was elected in 2022, so her term does not end until June 2028.

To pass legislation opposed by the Coalition, Labor needs the Greens and two of eight other crossbenchers, a group that now consists of two members from One Nation, two from the Jacqui Lambie Network, one from the United Australia Party, David Pocock, Thorpe and Van.

Read more:
Lidia Thorpe’s defection from the Greens will make passing legislation harder for Labor

Other parliamentary news

The Greens and Coalition united in the Senate last week to defer consideration of Labor’s housing policy until October. This is the first major defeat for the government in the Senate this term.

If the Senate still won’t pass the bill in October, there is the possibility of a double-dissolution election, where all seats in both chambers of parliament face election. A double dissolution can only occur after the same bill is rejected, unacceptably amended or delayed twice by the Senate at least three months apart. In a normal election, only half the Senate is up for election.

The Poll Bludger reported last Tuesday on the interim report on the 2022 election by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters.

The majority of the committee’s members wanted the public disclosure threshold for donations to political parties reduced from about $15,000 to $1,000, and for truth-in-advertising laws to be introduced. The Coalition’s dissenting report opposed these proposals.

The Conversation

Adrian Beaumont does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

ref. Support for the Voice to Parliament slumps in Newspoll, along with Albanese’s ratings –