And yet more gay marriage polling…

The Fairfax broadsheets this morning have the third recent gay marriage poll, with the usual pattern – a small but safe majority in favour, and a bit over a third against.

Though so far this is causing Labor most grief, Peter Hartcher argues in the SMH that it may eventually be more troublesome for the Coalition.

This is because while Labor voters clearly support gay marriage, Liberal voters are fairly evenly divided. In this poll Coalition voters were 51% against /42% favour. But in the Essential Research poll earlier in the month they were even at 45%/45%, and in the Galaxy poll last month 48% favour/ 46% against.

The Coalition members who spoke in the debate on Adam Bandt’s motion last week reflected this balancing act, supporting just about every aspect of gay equality except marriage.

15 Responses to “And yet more gay marriage polling…

  • 1
    Tim Andrews
    November 22nd, 2010 05:14

    Don’t you think though that simply using support/oppose as a metric doesn’t really translate in the political reality that well, for the fact that I would suspect that a lot more people in the “oppose” camp have it as a “vote-changing” matter for them, whereas a lot more people in the ‘support’ camp are more passive in their support and wouldn’t change their voting patterns because of it?

  • 2
    Andrew Norton
    November 22nd, 2010 05:36

    Tim – The Galaxy poll had an agree/strong disagree; disagree/strongly disagree format.

    Overall 25% strongly agree and 21% strongly disagree.

    Labor 28%/22%. Coalition 16%/31%. Green 44%/8%.

    Whether it is a vote changer depends on how it rates relative to other areas and whether there is anywhere for the voter to go. At the moment, it is probably contributing to Labor’s losses to the Greens.

    Once Labor backs it, Coalition voters who are against will have nowhere to go politically.

  • 3
    baz 'da ordinary Aussie'
    November 22nd, 2010 09:09

    Oh goody, another ‘gay’ post.
    Anyway, way overblown.
    Most people vote for a party for its stance on a range of issues, not just one. I can critise the Coalition on heaps of issues, but they’re doing ok on this one.
    As you said, they support equality on just about all gay issues, but the term ‘marraige’. And is that so bad? So bad as to change your vote? I don’t think so – just like Tim Andrews says. In fact, I would say that if an invidual states that ‘gay marraige’ is likely to turn your vote, then you’re probably already voting for the greens.
    ‘Gay marraige’ might be a big issue for the inner city types, the journos, academics et all, but na, the big issues are jobs, freedoms, defence, the mozzies etc.

  • 4
    M
    November 22nd, 2010 09:35

    Strongly disagree is the only number that matters.

    The Greens somehow keep 8% of their supporters despite having an overt pro gay marrige position so clearly even amongst those who strongly disagree its not a vote decider.

    However this is a massive potential lose issue for Labour. 22% of their support. Translates to about 10% of the whole population that they could lose over this. Labour desperately don’t want to hand the Coalition a rock-solid socially conservative base (10% from Labour, 15% they already have).

  • 5
    conrad
    November 22nd, 2010 10:25

    “Peter Hartcher argues in the SMH that it may eventually be more troublesome for the Coalition.”
    .
    I think that’s true, but for a different reason — if they looked at the demographics of who does and who doesn’t support it, then they’d find young people support it much more than old people, and they see it as important issue. Thus, those parties that don’t support it will risk putting off a group at a time when they are forming their more fixed ideologies and when other issues may not be so relevant. Of Baz’s list, for example, I doubt freedoms, defence and mozzies rate too highly for 18 year olds — at least not compared to things like environmental isses and other more topical social issues like this one.

  • 6
    Francis Xavier Holden
    November 22nd, 2010 10:26

    Most people I talk to are neither for nor against.

    Why don’t we have a poll that asks:

    “If there was gay marriage introduced by Julia (or Tony) and independents and greens would you vote against her/him at next election or would you have forgotten all about it as the storm in a teacup it is”

  • 7
    Andrew Norton
    November 22nd, 2010 11:10

    I suspect that this will be like all the other ‘gay’ issues since decriminalisation – before it happens some people think it is too radical a change, but after it happens there is no serious constituency for reversal.

    Baz and the Australian’s editorial last Friday are of course right that it is not the most important issue on the public agenda. All the more reason to get the inevitable over and done with, and move on to other things.

  • 8
    Jack Strocchi
    November 22nd, 2010 14:56

    FWIW I luke-warmedly support gay marriage on conservative grounds. If gays are married, mortgaged and “maternity”-ed then they will be more likely to be boring, god-fearing, tax-paying, hard-working members of society. Less likely to get up to self-harming mischief which can happen when single men kick over the traces.

    But I the Fairfax media’s incessant barrage of pro-gay marriage propaganda gets on my nerves after a while. They haven’t bothered to make any pretence at balance or give a fair hearing to the traditional reactionary point of view.

    And their condescending attitude towards traditional reactionaries is not appreciated. They might remember that this country was built by such folk- I mean the hard yards of back-breaking work, blood, sweat and tears.

    A little more ancestral respect would go a long way.

  • 9
    JC
    November 22nd, 2010 16:59

    “All the more reason to get the inevitable over and done with, and move on to other things.”

    But it’s not as far as I understood, Gillard, Andrew.

    I think I heard her mention that she was going to raise the issue at the ALP national conference which happens in December next year. So it’s going to be rolling around for them for over a year.

  • 10
    Rob
    November 29th, 2010 02:52

    I enjoy your writing on this Andrew. I’ve noticed a tendency amongst conservatives to engage in a bit of schadenfreude about Labor’s gay marriage pains. It’s disappointing, because I suspect many Liberal party voters actually support it, and their energy would be better devoted to trying to make it a bipartisan policy rather than simply watching Labor struggle with it.

  • 11
    baz 'da ordinary Aussie'
    November 29th, 2010 06:55

    Good on ya Jack. Spot on.
    This country was built on god-fearin, hard workin, inventive, ‘cock-a-hoop’, can-do types.
    You know, the other day, I visited Sarah Island down in Strahan, Tasmania. This island aint much bigger than a footy field. Yet, 200 years ago, the Red Coats dumped all these convicts down there. Tough, hard place…for sure. But within a few years, this little outpost of convicts was producing the best HM Ships this side of Portsmouth. No welfare, no gay marraige, no nothin in those days. Yet look what they built with their bare hands and their damper. Just brilliant!
    Now fast forward to today. We have all these know-it-all, moralising, preaching, leeching inner city types trying to shove their agendas down our throats.
    Well I think the people have had enough. They spoke decisively on Saturday night, and will speak again. Bloody good to see.
    Now, as I’ve said before, nothin against civil unions and what not. But let’s concentrate on the real issues. this focus of Gillard and co on this subsistence issues is rotting the Aust Gov.
    Now, can we please have a post on a real issue….e.g. the Vic Election?

  • 12
    caf
    November 29th, 2010 12:00

    You could call the Victorian result a lot of things, but at a probable 43-46, “decisive” ain’t really one of them.

  • 13
    Andrew Norton
    November 29th, 2010 12:53

    I think he meant decisive against the Greens, 88-0.

  • 14
    baz 'da ordinary Aussie'
    November 29th, 2010 14:01

    Ohhhh – “SMACK DOWN” – Quote of the year Andrew!

  • 15
    caf
    November 30th, 2010 13:23

    Similarly decisive against Family First, then. Decisively middle-of-the-road perhaps?