Australian voters are resoundingly sick of their bitterly polarised politics and a sizeable group says they would consider voting for a new centrist political party, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.
The new survey of 1,830 voters found 71% agreement with the statement “I wish both sides of politics would try to meet each other in the middle more often” and 45% said they would consider voting for a new party that took ideas from both sides of politics.
A total of 45% of the sample agreed with the statement, “Political parties in Australia are too ideological.”
The latest weekly opinion survey has Labor continuing with a commanding lead over the Coalition on the two-party preferred measure, 54% to 46% – which is the same result as last week.
With marriage equality once again creating tension within government ranks, this week’s poll finds 61% support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage,and 26% opposition.
Women are more likely than men to support marriage equality and young people are considerably more supportive of the concept than voters over 65.
According to the survey, 81% of 18 to 24-year-olds support same-sex marriage, compared with 46% of over 65-year-olds.
While the Liberal senator Dean Smith has signalled he will press ahead once parliament resumes with a private member’s bill legalising same-sex marriage – a development that will trigger a discussion within the Liberal party about whether to move away from a plebiscite policy to a conscience vote position – the survey indicates voters are divided about how they would like the issue resolved.
Of the respondents, 50% said they wanted a national vote that would be binding on parliament, 23% favoured a vote in parliament without a preceding national vote and only 9% want a national vote followed by a conscience vote in parliament.
The voters most likely to favour a parliamentary vote, minus a plebiscite, were Greens voters (39%), voters aged over 65 (32%), university…