Support Dips for Indigenous Recognition Referendum in Australia, Poll Shows

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The latest opinion poll on Monday showed that less than half of Australians support the proposal to include a Native advisory body in the Constitution, which will be put up for a referendum this year.

According to a Newspoll poll published by an Australian newspaper on Monday, 46% of respondents will vote in favor of the Indigenous "Voice to Parliament" and 43% against it.

Uncertainty or ignorance is expressed by 11% of respondents.

The 122-year old constitution does not mention Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, who make up approximately 3.2% of Australia’s population. They are below average in most socio-economic indicators and do not even appear on the national charts. British colonial leaders marginalised them and did not grant voting rights to them until the 1960s.

The referendum law passed its first hurdle in the House of Representatives just a few days before the poll.

The first survey of voters to ask them the exact question that they will be asked when voting in the referendum, which is expected to take place between October and November.

The government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has backed the referendum, and invested significant political capital in it. The campaign has been endorsed by several large corporations and top sporting codes.

In recent weeks, however, support for the campaign is eroding. A second poll conducted last month showed that the yes vote had dropped to 53%, from 58% in early this year.

The groups opposing constitutional change intensified their campaign, urging people to vote "No" in the referendum. The Voice is supported by a majority of Indigenous People, but others believe it's a distraction to achieving positive and practical outcomes.