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.
The exclusive Resolve Strategic poll, published today by the Nine newspaper, put a variety of questions to First Nations voters.
“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.”
Indigenous people make up about three per cent of the population, so the sample size of the poll is an “over-sample” that delivers a margin of error of 4.8 per cent, Mr Reed explained.
“We can be pretty confident that the result reflects the reality that Indigenous support is between 54 and 64 per cent,” he said.
Mr Albanese repeated the claim that 80 per cent of First Nations people back the Voice as recently as last Thursday.
Supporting the Voice achieved two things, he said – recognising Indigenous people in the country’s most important document and doing it “in the form in which they have requested”.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart, which called for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament, was written in 2018 with the support of 250 community representatives.
During the last election campaign, Mr Albanese announced his intention to adopt the Uluru Statement.
He announced the date of the referendum last month.
While initially high at about 60 per cent, community support for the Voice has collapsed in the same since.
Resolve’s latest poll on community support for the Voice shows the Yes vote has plunged to just 44 per cent. Other polls put it in the mid-30s range.
Roy Morgan released fresh data yesterday putting the No vote at 50 per cent, Yes at 45 per cent, and the undecided pool at just five per cent.
The likelihood of the referendum achieving a double majority – that is, a majority of Australians and a majority of states voting Yes – is now slim.