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The Australasian by NewsServices.com

Voice to Parliament referendum has been heavily defeated

  • Written by Adrian Beaumont

The Voice to Parliament referendum has failed convincingly after the ABC projected large victories for the “no” side in the national vote and all states.

The Poll Bludger is currently projecting a 60.0–40.0% win for “no” in the national vote with 74% of enrolled voters counted.

The Poll Bludger’s current projections in the states are a “no” win in New South Wales (58.9–41.1%), Victoria (54.1–45.9%), Queensland (68.1–31.9%), Western Australia (63.2–36.8), South Australia (64.0–36.0%) and Tasmania (59.0–41.0%).


Read more: Voice to Parliament referendum defeated: results at-a-glance

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The referendum required a majority vote in a majority of the states (four of six), as well as a majority vote nationally, to succeed. Votes cast in the Northern Territory and ACT are only counted in the national vote.

The ACT is the only state or territory that will vote “yes”, by a 60.9–39.1% margin in the Poll Bludger projection. The NT is currently projecting for a 61.7–38.3% “no” vote.

Here is the latest aggregate poll graph that was updated with the final Newspoll and JWS polls and the provisional results.

 
2023 Voice polls.

The pollsters were broadly correct – they have been projecting a win for the “no” side for months. However, the Morgan and Essential polls that had “no” ahead by just six and seven points greatly overstated the “yes” support.

Newspoll’s final poll had a 20-point lead for “no” and YouGov’s final poll an 18-point lead. These two polls were the most accurate compared with the current projected result of a 20-point “no” win. The worst polls for “yes” were more accurate.

There were two late national polls not covered in Friday’s Voice polls article for The Conversation. A Newspoll, conducted October 4–12 from a sample of 2,638 people, gave “no” a 57–37% lead. And a JWS poll for the Financial Review, conducted October 6–9 from a sample of 922 people, gave “no” a 52–39% lead.

Electorate results

The ABC has called “yes” wins in 28 of the 151 federal seats and “yes” leads in another five seats. The ABC has called “no” wins in 115 seats, with three seats leaning “no” and not yet decided.

The best electorates for “yes” were inner city seats where Labor and the Greens traditionally do well, such as Greens leader Adam Bandt’s Melbourne electorate, Grayndler and Sydney in NSW, and Canberra in the ACT. The three Queensland seats won by the Greens in the 2022 election also voted “yes”.

All the seats won by “teal” independents in 2022 appear to have voted “yes”, although Curtin and Mackellar are still in doubt.

The six electorates with the highest “no” votes were all in rural Queensland. Traditional Labor strongholds, such as Calwell and Scullin in Melbourne, also voted “no” by large margins.

Some postal votes were counted last night, so what remains to be counted is largely absent votes and late postal votes. These will report in the next two weeks. I believe these votes will help the “yes” side hold the electorates where it currently leads. The overall result will remain a heavy defeat.

Labor referendums very rarely win

In May, I wrote that just one of 25 Labor-initiated referendums had succeeded in winning the required majority of states, as well as a national majority. While not successful, Labor referendums held with general elections have performed far better than when held as a standalone referendum.

In view of this history, it was a blunder to hold this referendum as a standalone vote, rather than at the next general election.

Six of 18 referendums proposed by conservative governments have succeeded. The reason for the huge difference in success rate between Labor and conservative-initiated referendums is that Labor sometimes gives its support to conservative referendums, while the conservatives almost never do in reverse.


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



This article first appeared in The Conversation and is republished with permission

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