Australian Way of Life

New Poll Finds Australians Want Race Removed From The Constitution

Written by
15 July 2021

A new poll of 1,015 Australians commissioned by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has found that mainstream Australians overwhelmingly support the values of egalitarianism and equality before the law and reject racially divisive proposals such as an indigenous-only Voice to Parliament.

The poll data was collected by marketing research firm Dynata between 19—23 February 2021. It asked Australians to agree or disagree with the statement: “All references to race should be removed from the Australian Constitution.”

  • 60% agree
  • 29% neither agree nor disagree
  • Only 11% disagree

This is an increase from polling conducted in December 2019 which found 45% of Australians supported repealing constitutional references to race, whereas 16% disagreed.

“Rather than dividing Australians by race, governments should build on the legacy of the 1967 referendum by removing the remaining references to race from the Australian Constitution,” said Morgan Begg, Director of the Legal Rights Project with the Institute of Public Affairs.

The poll also asked Australians to agree or disagree with the statement: “All Australians, regardless of their background, race, or ethnicity, should have equal political rights.”

  • 87% agree
  • 8% neither agree nor disagree
  • Only 5% disagree

A majority of respondents within every age group and across every state and territory in Australia agreed with both statements.

Australians’ support for the mainstream values of egalitarianism and equality before the law comes amid ongoing demands for legislative and constitutional change to establish a Voice to Parliament to represent indigenous Australians. The IPA’s submission to the consultation phase of the federal government’s Voice co-design process makes the positive case for equality in the constitution.

“A legislated Voice to Parliament will inevitably lead to claims for further radical constitutional change which would divide Australians by race forever.”

“Such a body would act as a third chamber of parliament by having the unprecedented autonomy to influence political debate.”

“It would be politically impossible for parliament to go against the unsolicited advice of the Voice, which is precisely the intent of Voice advocates who explicitly make this point.”

“Australians do not want to be divided by race. This is an obsession of the ruling political class and cloistered academics who are disconnected from mainstream Australians and their values,” said Mr Begg.

Download the submission and poll.

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Morgan Begg

Morgan Begg is the Director, Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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