Support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament is lagging at perilously low levels in regional and rural Australia, a new survey of 10,000 voters has found.
In a wake-up call for "yes" proponents and the Albanese government, only 38 per cent of people surveyed last month supported the establishment of the Voice, compared to 55 per cent who said they expected to vote "no" on referendum day.
In the regions the "no" vote grew to 57 per cent while the "yes" vote shrank to 35 per cent.
And in a telling result, a majority of respondents - at 72 per cent - feel the government has not done enough to explain the Voice to the community.
The results of the new survey are revealed today by the daily newspapers of ACM, which conducted the study over 10 days in June through the company's research arm, Chi Squared. ACM is the publisher of this masthead.
The online questionnaire was completed by readers of the ACM network's publications, including its 14 daily newspapers serving Canberra and key regional population centres such as Newcastle, Wollongong, Tamworth, Orange, Albury and Wagga Wagga in NSW, Ballarat, Bendigo and Warrnambool in Victoria and Launceston and Burnie in northern Tasmania.
Some of the 10,131 people who did the survey between June 16 and 26 were members of regional audience panel Crackerjack.
Conducted to understand regional Australian sentiment around the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, the results follow a similar trajectory for Voice support seen in other published national polling recently.
The ACM survey found a critical lack of support emerging in June, as the legislation triggering the referendum and settling the final wording for the vote passed the Parliament.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice has been proposed as an independent advisory body to Parliament and the executive government on matters affecting the lives of First Nations people.
It requires a change to the constitution, which will go ahead if a majority of voters approve it nationally, as well as a majority of voters in at least four of the six states.
The "yes" campaign for the referendum is now deemed to be finally off and running, including nationwide community "Come Together for Yes" events over the past weekend. Undeterred by daunting polling to date, the "yes" campaign is unleashing heavy and sustained advertising.
But the ACM survey shows average support for the Voice sitting at 38 per cent. The "no" vote's 55 per cent and the undecided camp at 7 per cent shows the mountain ahead for the "yes" camp to climb before the referendum due in October.
The challenge looks even steeper in regional Australia, where more voters - at 57 per cent - said they were more likely to vote "no". Regional areas were also less likely - at 35 per cent - to vote "yes" than those from the main metropolitan cities and Canberra.
In recent days Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has sought to address questions from regional Australians about how the Voice would work to help address entrenched Indigenous disadvantage, including an eight year life expectancy gap and incarceration rates that meant a young Indigenous male is more likely to go to jail than university.
Mr Albanese told reporters in Coffs Harbour the Voice was a "good idea and it's one whose time has come".
"It won't be a right of veto," he said. "It won't change our parliamentary structures. But it's a good thing. And I'm very hopeful that people in regional communities in particular, who have such strong relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, will campaign for a 'yes' vote and get it done."
According to ACM's reader survey, while regional Australians are leaning more towards the "no" vote, support for the Voice is looking the strongest in Canberra, where more than half of respondents - 52 per cent - said they intended to vote "yes" at the referendum.
The research also shows a considerable gender divide. Male respondents to the survey were far more likely to say they would be voting "no", while women showed greater support for recognising the First Peoples of Australia by establishing the Voice.
Female respondents indicating they would vote "yes" came in at 47 per cent compared to men at 29 per cent, while 65 per cent of males surveyed said they planned to vote "no" compared to 45 per cent of females.
The research showed older Australians were more inclined to reject the Albanese government's proposed alteration to the constitution.
People aged 40 to 59 were significantly more likely to indicate that they would vote "no" - at 58 per cent, the least likely to vote "yes" - at 34 per cent - and the most undecided (8 per cent).
Survey respondents aged 60-75 and 75+ were also more likely to say they intended to vote "no", at 55 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.
Those aged 18 to 39 were more likely - at 40 per cent - to indicate a "yes" vote, but more than half of respondents in the age bracket - 52 per cent - said they would vote "no".
Metro respondents to the Voice survey were significantly more likely to feel they are fully informed about the Voice referendum at 37 per cent. This leapt to 65 per cent when "reasonably well informed" metro readers were included.
Voters in regional areas indicated they needed more information about the Voice before they could make an informed decision come referendum day, with 27 per cent saying they didn't have enough information and a further 7 per cent saying they felt "somewhat uninformed" on the proposed changes.
More voters in Canberra (37 per cent) and metro cities (27 per cent) said they felt fully informed compared to people in the regions (26 per cent).
The age group most likely to say they don't yet have enough information about the referendum were the 40-to-59s (at 27 per cent), compared to only 22 per cent of 18-39s.
Those aged 60 to 75 and 75 and over were more likely to feel fully informed (at 32 per cent).
A majority of respondents - almost three quarters (72 per cent) - feel the government has not done enough to explain the Voice to the community, which leaves 28 per cent happy with the government explanation.
Regional survey respondents (73 per cent) were slightly more likely to indicate there was not enough explanation compared to metro respondents (68 per cent).
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