The vast majority of Australians would prefer a “national vote” to decide whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized, results from a new poll revealed on Monday.

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According to local media, more than three-quarters, or 76 percent, of those polled would prefer to vote on the matter before giving the power – of deciding the future of same-sex marriage in Australia – to MPs.

Crucially, support of a national vote was consistent throughout the three categories in the same-sex marriage debate – being for, against or neutral – at 77 percent, 77 percent and 74 percent respectively.

The Sexton survey polled 1,200 Australians last week, but the results were released on Monday in The Australian newspaper.

The outcome follows Prime Minister Tony Abbott rejecting calls from his own party room to hold a people’s vote before the next election.

Abbott’s party members continue to bicker on how the party should approach the issue while, over the weekend, more ministers have signaled their intent to “cross the floor” and support the same-sex marriage bill.
On Sunday, Abbott said that asking the citizens was the best way to approach the matter, but hinted that it would not occur until his government’s second term – if re-elected.

“The fundamental decision is that this government in the next term of parliament will put this very important question to the people for their decision,” Abbott said.

However the prime minister drew criticism from the opposition as well as the Coalition MP who is set to introduce the bill, both labeling Abbott’s calls to wait until after the next election as stalling measures.
Coalition backbencher Warren Entsch said he would like a vote to be put to the people within the next 100 days.

“If the vote comes up and I’m asked to vote of course I will support it,” he said.

Meanwhile on Monday, independent senator Nick Xenophon said, by asking for a discussion and a referendum or plebiscite, the government was implementing delay tactics.

“Some in the government are trying to stall the issue,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Amidst the drama of same-sex marriage, Abbott’s support in the polls has continued to fall. A Fairfax-Ipsos poll recorded support for the government at 38 percent, just 2 points above Labor.

When Abbott’s government was elected during the last election, support for the Coalition was at 46 percent. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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