News & Media

Oct 21, 2011

Guarding the Left flank: gay unions and Labor’s primary vote

First published in Crikey, October 21, 2011

With speculation the prime minister will declare her support for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage ahead of Labor’s December national conference, a new poll suggests the issue could enable Labor to attract support from Greens voters.

Sources close to the PM have long hinted that there’d be a shift by Julia Gillard on the issue either before or at the conference, although not all the way in favour of same-sex unions. These have been strengthened by reports in News Ltd papers today that the PM is preparing to back a conscience vote, a compromise tactic designed to head off a damaging fight over the issue between social progressives and conservatives while shifting Labor to a more liberal stance than its current “man and woman” policy.

The pro-same-sex union group Australian Marriage Equality today released polling done by Galaxy looking at the impact on voting intention of a full Labor shift to supporting same-sex unions. The poll was undertaken last weekend with a sample size of just over 1000 respondents.

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