Federal Politics

License article

Rudd take on gay marriage pulls in voters

Kevin Rudd's support for same-sex marriage could significantly lift Labor's vote in the election, a new poll shows.

A survey of 1000 people, conducted by Galaxy Research for Australian Marriage Equality, found 30 per cent of voters would be more likely to vote for Labor as a result of Mr Rudd's stance on the issue, while 19 per cent said they would be less likely to vote for Labor.

The Prime Minister's views were particularly popular with younger voters. A little more than half of those aged 18 to 24 were more likely to vote for Labor, compared with 18 per cent of those over 50.

Of those intending to vote for the Coalition, 11 per cent said they would be more likely to vote for Labor because of Mr Rudd's support for gay marriage. Among Labor voters, 50 per cent said they would be more likely to vote Labor and 6 per cent said they would be less likely to vote Labor because of Mr Rudd's stance.

Mr Rudd, who previously opposed gay marriage, announced in May he had changed his mind on the issue.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is against same-sex marriage and has bound his MPs to his position, but has said the party room would determine the party's position after the election.


Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said the poll showed same-sex marriage could be a decisive issue in a tight election contest.

While Labor's platform supports same-sex marriage, its MPs have a free vote and many oppose gay marriage, meaning no change to the law would be possible unless Coalition MPs also had a conscience vote.

Mr Rudd last month challenged Mr Abbott to allow Coalition MPs to vote according to their conscience on the issue.

In other poll results, 58 per cent of voters, including 37 per cent of Coalition voters, agreed with the suggestion Mr Abbott was out of step with community attitudes on the issue.

In a separate poll, done for Fairfax Media, three out of five people believed scrapping the carbon tax would be financially irresponsible if it had a negative impact on government revenue.

The Lonergan Research automated telephone poll of more than 1300 people found that 62 per cent of the respondents wanted to keep the price on carbon, and 38 per cent wanted it removed even if it meant revenue would be affected.

"Some see a price on carbon as the right thing to do … but there are also others who are concerned about a government acting in a fiscally responsibly manner,'' managing director Chris Lonergan said.

Follow the National Times on Twitter