Australian government would lose 1 in 4 voters by blocking equal marriage vote

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Australia’s government will lose one in four voters of its voters if it continues to block equal marriage, polling shows.

Australia’s right-wing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly blocked a free vote in Parliament on equal marriage, and has instead focused on attempting to conduct a non-binding public vote (plebiscite).

Opponents have alleged that Turnbull gave private assurances to conservatives within his own party on the issue during his 2015 leadership bid, in order to shore up support.

A poll, commissioned by PFLAG Australia, found that the Coalition government is now in jeopardy of losing voters on the issue.

PM Malcolm Turnbull

The Galaxy poll revealed that over a quarter of Coalition voters will consider voting for a new Government that commits to a marriage equality free vote, if marriage equality isn’t dealt with in this term.

The poll found that support for a free vote in Parliament stands at  73% across Australia, while just 27% support Turnbull’s plebiscite plan.

60% of voters believe the delay entailed by having a plebiscite at the next election would be “unreasonable”, including 50% of Coalition voters.

40% of Australians will be more likely to vote for a Government that commits to a free vote should the current Government fail to make such a commitment, including 26% of Coalition voters.

PFLAG spokesperson Shelley Argent, said: “This poll shows Australians want action now on marriage equality and the Turnbull Government will lose government if it continues to delay on an issue that people just wish was over and dealt with.

“Mr Turnbull doesn’t seem to understand voters are tired of the political games relating to marriage equality.”

“Our sons and daughters deserve better than the endless delays and indifference we are seeing at the moment and it seems from this poll that most Australians agree.”

Just.equal activist Rodney Croome added: “If the Government doesn’t allow a free vote very soon it will be out on its ear at the next election.

“The continued high support for a free vote and the overwhelming opposition to a plebiscite are all the mandates this Government needs to get on with it.”

“I call on marriage equality supporters within the Coalition to push for a free vote or cross the floor, if they are to avoid a backlash that could cost them their seats.”

Related: Despite homophobic attacks, airline chief doubles down on equal marriage