Shock poll puts same-sex marriage result in doubt

The pair were ‘married’ on July 1 this year. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography
The pair were ‘married’ on July 1 this year. Picture: Kaitlin Maree Photography

A SHOCK new poll shows support for same-sex marriage is falling, while people who say they won't take part in the controversial survey has risen.

The research was conducted for supporters of same-sex marriage and was completed before the High Court decision to allow the two-month survey to go ahead.

The number of people who said they would vote "yes" has fallen six percentage points to 58.4, while the "no" vote is at 31.4 per cent. Just over 10 per cent of people polled said they were unsure how they would vote, Fairfax reported.

Supporters of same-sex marriage - who have consistently pointed to polls for several years suggesting Australians wanted change - have been concerned in recent weeks about the number of people who will actually vote in the survey. And this poll will give them little comfort.

The number of people who say they will take part is at 65 per cent - and drops down further to 58 per cent among 18-34 year-olds.

The research was conducted by Newgate Research pollster Jim Reed for the Equality Campaign. It was held between August 28 and September 6 and had a sample size of 800 with a 3.5 per cent margin of error.

Meanwhile, Labor and the government have begun talks on urgent laws to ensure all survey campaign material is authorised, as it would be during an election campaign.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the safeguard legislation could clear parliament next week if there was consensus.

"We want this process to be fair to both sides of this argument and for Australians to have the opportunity to have their say in an appropriate environment," the minister told AAP.

Labor leader Bill Shorten wants to include the provisions that govern elections.

"I want to see, for example, proper authorisations so that we know who is actually saying what," he told reporters in Melbourne.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Samoa, where he was attending the Pacific Islands Forum, all Australians should engage in the debate respectfully.

But he expected there would be some "isolated unpleasant things". Treasurer Scott Morrison said Australians should not feel intimidated about having their say in this debate, and added that he'll be voting no.

The result of the survey will be announced on November 15, followed by a vote in parliament on a private member's bill if there is a majority "yes" result.

Topics:  editors picks equal rights homophobia poll polling same-sex marriage

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