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  • If the RECOGNISE referendum were held today, 75 percent of all Australians and 87 percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people say they would vote YES
  • A majority of people in a majority of States intend to vote YES – the crucial threshold for a referendum to pass
  • Two-thirds of Coalition voters would vote YES in a referendum held now.

IF a referendum vote were held today, three in four Australians (including two in three Coalition voters) would vote yes to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the nation’s Constitution!

And in a signal that the crucial double majority (an overall national majority plus a majority in at least four of the six States) can be secured, a majority of people in all States now intend to vote yes.

Undertaken by Polity Research for the RECOGNISE movement in March, the research demonstrates strong backing for this change – both in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and across the wider Australian community.

RECOGNISE joint campaign director Tanya Hosch said the findings should give even greater confidence to community and political leaders that Australians were eager and ready for our chance to vote to include recognition and get rid of discrimination.

“This confirms that when you ask them to make this decision in a democratic vote, our fellow Australians are prepared to say yes in the sort of overwhelming numbers that would absolutely carry this referendum,” she said.

Two years of crucial grassroots engagement in regional communities across the nation is also affirmed by the new data. While there is strong majority support in both groups, regional & rural voters are now even more strongly inclined than city voters to support recognition. This confirms the experience of relay teams on the 32,000km Journey to Recognition relay making its way across the nation.

The research also confirms continuing support for recognition from the vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Nearly nine in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – 87 percent – said they would vote yes if they were voting in the referendum today.

The research demonstrates that a majority of conservative voters, a crucial group in a referendum, are willing to vote for recognition. Two in three Coalition voters – 67 percent – would vote yes if casting a referendum vote today.

The research was conducted with large sample sizes, measuring opinion from 2,700 voters from the wider community and 750 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The findings come ahead of the 48th anniversary of the 1967 referendum next Wednesday, and in the lead-up to a promised meeting on recognition between the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders.

A Joint Select Committee of the Parliament led by Liberal MP Ken Wyatt and Labor Senator Nova Peris has been leading detailed community consultation and cross-party discussions on the final model, taking up from the work of the Expert Panel in 2012.

Ms Hosch said the research findings should give confidence to leaders as they seek agreement on the model to be put to voters. It confirms the electorate is strongly prepared to back this change.

  • julia boyle

    This is marvellous, and i hope all sides can meet in the middle somewhere, and continue to Live and Lead a Healthier Happier Life in this Glorious Land :)

    • David Jones

      ‘I Agree ‘Whole-Heartedly!’ ‘This could change ‘Attitudes’ The ‘World Over!’

  • http://sjaroundthebay.org.au Phil Jones

    Has consensus been reached within the Indigenous community as to what change is being asked for? I understand that some Indigenous leaders want to include the idea that legislation can be based on race so that legislation can be passed in support of the community. On the other hand, it means that the reverse can occur. Is the text of the proposed changes available anywhere? What exactly is being proposed?

  • Sandra Kelly

    There is so much to this that’s not being said in this glossy campaign. So much money thrown at it (something like $30,000,000), which could be going to save Aboriginal communities from being closed down. So many dissenting voices who don’t get the opportunity to be heard. Why? This is not to be trusted is the word on the street and it will not pass.

    • David Jones

      ‘I For One’ Do not Agree with ‘Corporate Support!’ ‘The Agenda’ is ‘Recognition’ Not ‘Capitolism!’ But ‘I have ‘Faith in ‘Humanity!’ ‘For this reason ‘I Believe that it will Work!’

  • Sandra Kelly

    And here’s an example of the words the general public isn’t hearing. From Debbi Jones:

    “I’m a proud Murri woman. I don’t know many famous people. No one I know got paid to wear a big red R. I live in and work in the Brisbane Black community and I can tell you with no hesitation that there isn’t a single blackfulla I know personally who supports CONstitutional recognition.

    Why??

    1. No one actually KNOWS what the actual changes are slated to be – wtf are all these people saying they support something when they don’t even know what they’re claiming to support ffs?!!

    2. We don’t care about “being recognised” in your constitution. We’re recognised everywhere we go, by security guards in shopping centres and police everywhere. You don’t think our GROSS over representation at the bottom of every socio-economic statistic occurred in some utopian PC “nobody sees colour anymore” bubble do you?

    3. The word on the street is that, AT BEST, this whole thing is just another feel good distraction for white people, while it won’t make one iota of difference to the systemic oppression of our people. At worst, it may morph into a legal loophole to take the legal fiction of Terra Nullius, that this continent was colonised under off the table and destroy any possibility of us being able to treaty.

    4. This the brainchild of that paragon of feel good multicultural harmony, John Howard. By law, any government funding into a referendum education campaign has to be shared between the YES campaign and the NO campaign. So far, $15 000 000 of tax payer dollars, including ours, has been spent on the YES campaign. $0 has been spent on the NO campaign. We would have preferred that money go into providing PROPER medical, education and community services in our communities.

    5. We don’t trust the government. With Cause. Not just because of what happened in the past, but because what happened in the past is happening RIGHT NOW. Colonisation and oppressive government regimes isn’t past tense, it’s present continuous tense. e.g. There are more children stolen under government legislation NOW than at any time during the stolen generations. There is not one single family who hasn’t had this scourge tear us apart. When our mob have the wherewithal to fight the child “protective custody” orders in court, in most instances our children are returned because the department was WRONG in its decision because it FAILS time and time again to follow its own stated processes when it deals with our people.

    All that said, if Cory Bernadi wants the NO campaign forwarded successfully, he should hand it over to our sovereign warriors. The only reason anyone’s listening to the YES campaign at all is because they getting free stuff for showing up and they get to rub noses with our black celebrities. If they hear from our elders continent wide their reasons for saying NO, you’ll be lucky to get 5% of blackfullas voting YES I reckon.”

  • Cina Loren

    just to add to my last comment, that you kno everyone just wants to live free from discrimination, and that needs to be respected on every level. now more than ever in history since the 60s n 70s is the most important time to be rising up!

  • Kelly

    I think these stats are very likely to be correct. Recognition in the Constitution is not ‘the’ answer but it is a fundamental thing that needs to be done along with many other things. So, given the clear support in the Australian community for Constituional change what exactly are we waiting for?

  • Diddy Boruma

    How did they get these figures? I don’t know one Aboriginal person who would vote yes. If ever I ask about CR, Recognise at first assume I know nothing (so how come they think everyone knows about it and would vote for it?) Then they asked me to email my questions – why wouldn’t they answer them publicly? – I emailed as requested and they still have not answered. That was a few weeks ago.

  • Newcastle Guardian

    What a load of tripe. Those figures are an out and out joke.

  • Keith

    How would 51A be any different to the current racial discrimination act that was so controversial when NTER happened?

    Who exactly decides what is “beneficial” legislation for Aboriginals? Presumably the High Court, and how do you decide whether or not it’ll be beneficial until after you’ve had time to examine the effects? At which point it’s too late.

    I imagine much of current and future “Aboriginal legislation” will eventually be looked back on in a similar way to things like the stolen generation. Racial segregation rarely results in positive outcomes.

    Surely the basis for land rights can be established separately to the race powers, if it isn’t already. I’m sure there are alternatives to simple racism for most legislation.

    Regarding 127A, personally I don’t think we need or want an official national language defined in the Constitution. I think it’s rather self defeating to “acknowledge” Aboriginal languages and then in the same breath elevate the English language above them as the official national language. I suspect this might lead to some negative consequences in the future, like the government being increasingly unwilling to cater to “unofficial languages” in consultations, correspondence, etc. I think the whole concept of an official national language is increasingly outdated in the modern multicultural world.

    Right now I don’t want to vote for something including 127A or 51A. I can’t see how it’ll have any benefit over the current system, and it just enshrines racism in the Constitution.

    • David Jones

      ‘Language ‘Will Never ‘Define’ a ‘People!’ ‘as for the’Acts’ in the Constitution.’It Should Be of ‘Little Significance!’ ‘The ‘Greatest is ‘Recognition!’ ‘Itself’.’You have ‘Finally Won ‘Your Cause! ‘My Wish is to see a ‘Bona-Fide’ ‘Elder,’Elected to ‘Prime Minister’! ‘Congratulations ‘Bro!’