Campaigns make final sprint on eve of Voice vote

Anthony Albanese is hoping Australians will rise to the occasion by voting 'yes'.

Anthony Albanese is hoping Australians will rise to the occasion by voting 'yes'. Photo: TND

The ‘yes’ and ‘no’ movements are gearing up for the final full day of campaigning before Australians cast their votes on the Indigenous Voice referendum.

The prime minister will make a mad dash across the country with appearances scheduled in South Australia, Tasmania and NSW on Friday.

Speaking to reporters in Perth on Thursday, Anthony Albanese said he hoped Australians would rise to the occasion.

“It would be most unfortunate if we miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to advance reconciliation” he said on Thursday.

“We’re a generous people and this is a very modest request from the First Australians for recognition and to be listened to.”

On Saturday, Australians will decide whether to change the constitution to recognise Indigenous people and enshrine an advisory body called the voice.

For the proposal to pass, a majority of all Australians and a majority in at least four of the six states need to support the change.

But things aren’t looking great for the ‘yes’ campaign.

A YouGov survey of 1519 voters published on Thursday revealed 56 per cent of respondents would vote ‘no’, up three points from the previous poll.

Though six per cent of the respondents remained undecided, YouGov’s director of polling and academic research Amir Daftari said all signs pointed towards a sweeping ‘no’ victory.

“it is very unlikely that ‘yes’ will win anywhere apart from a number of inner-metropolitan seats,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Roy Morgan poll released on Thursday night found 54 per cent of Australians are set to vote no and 46  per cent plan to vote yes.

The poll of 1,149 voters also found a majority of undecided voters were leaning towards ‘no’.

Casting her pre-poll vote in Alice Springs on Thursday, ‘no’ campaign leader and opposition spokeswoman for Indigenous Australians Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said Aboriginal people did not want to be reliant on the government.

“As it stands, socialism is what has destroyed the (Northern) Territory and is what continues to destroy the Territory, which is why you get large groups of people gathering to push for a ‘yes’ vote in this community,” she told Sky News.

Price is one of more than four million Australians who have already voted in the referendum.

But the Australian Electoral Commission has issued a warning to those yet to cast a ballot.

A long-standing rule bans campaigning inside polling places or within six metres of an entrance.

While wearing a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pin, shirt or hat into a polling place might not be considered campaigning, talking about the material or gesturing towards it could be in breach of the rules.

“AEC advice is to simply avoid any potential issue by not wearing campaign material into a polling place, or to at least bring along a piece of clothing that allows a voter to cover up,” the commission said on Thursday.

Commission staff will take a “commonsense” approach to talking to voters about the matters, with people urged to be kind.


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