Former PM lobbies Right to say No
SUPPORT for same-sex marriage dropped by more than one million votes after the High Court dismissed a challenge to the postal vote, according to the No campaign.
A poll of 4000 voters taken before the court ruling found 65 per cent in favour and 35 per cent against when forced to make a decision.
A second poll taken in the 10 days since the challenge was dismissed recorded a 7 per cent swing away from the Yes vote – equivalent to more than one million votes.
A spokesman for the No campaign, said the numbers were moving now that “Australians were presented with alternative argument”.
The Sunday Mail can also reveal that former prime minister John Howard has ramped up his campaign against same-sex marriage, accusing senior conservatives including Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Mathias Cormann of running dead on the issue.
Senior Liberal sources said Mr Howard is calling conservative members of the Turnbull Government to lobby them to publicly defend traditional marriage. “Howard (pictured) wants the senior guys to be more vocal and not leave it up to the junior conservatives,” one Liberal MP told The Sunday Mail. But his intervention has angered moderates who claim he is trying to “complicate” the issue and “scare voters”.
Last week Mr Howard accused the Government of “washing its hands of any responsibility” to protect religious freedoms, if the sur- vey came back with a majority Yes vote.
A handful of conservatives have also questioned Mr Howard’s intervention saying the No campaign should be focused on parental rights not religious freedoms.
The Turnbull Government is facing a deepening divide on its frontbench as cabinet ministers including Christopher Pyne, Kelly O’Dwyer, Darren Chester and George Brandis last week attended the parliamentary launch of the Coalition’s Yes campaign.
Yesterday, Health Minister Greg Hunt became the latest minster to join the Liberals and Nationals for Yes campaign, appearing in a new video declaring “I’m for yes”.
“This is about giving our sons and our daughters, our friends and our relatives a chance to be their best selves,” Mr Hunt said.
“If they love someone, it shouldn’t matter what gender it is.”
“It just matters what whether they love them. That’s a great thing.”
Results from the postal survey are expected on November 15.