More than two-thirds of voters oppose the federal government’s decision to give public funding to the “Yes” and “No” campaigns in a plebiscite on equal marriage, according to an Essential poll published on September 20.
Only 22% approved the government’s decision, while 68% disapproved.
More than 60% said they would vote yes to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?” and 30% said they would vote no.
Almost half of those polled were concerned that a plebiscite may result in hate speech and abuse of gay and lesbian communities — 48% were concerned and 39% were not.
The poll found more than half — 53% — believed that if the legislation to set up the plebiscite failed in the Senate, a parliamentary vote on the substantive issue should be held, while 29% believed there should not.
This will increase pressure on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to allow the issue to be voted on in parliament if, as seems likely, the legislation for a plebiscite is killed. However the conservative right wing in the government would strongly resist such a course.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is expected to recommend to caucus that the plebiscite legislation be opposed but a final decision will not be taken until the resumption of parliament, which is on a three-week break.