Australia’s Voters Turn on PM Albanese and Indigenous Voice


(Bloomberg) — Australian voter dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s performance is growing and support for his signature Indigenous Voice to Parliament proposal is declining amid increased frustration over rising living costs.

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The center-left government’s primary vote slid to 36% in the latest Resolve poll published Monday, the lowest level since it won office in May 2022. Albanese’s net approval rating declined to minus-7, with 47% of respondents disapproving of the job he’s doing as prime minister, compared with 40% in favor.

Support for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, Albanese’s signature proposal, has slumped to 43% from as high as 64% a year ago. Australians will vote in a referendum on Oct. 14 for an advisory body made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to be incorporated into the constitution.

Resolve’s results echo surveys from Newspoll and Essential over the past week, all of which showed a drop in support for Albanese, the Labor government and the Voice to Parliament. The poll hit comes as elevated interest rates and falling real wages squeeze household budgets and damage the government’s standing.

Defending Labor’s performance on Sunday, Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles told Sky News that he remained “very optimistic” about the Voice succeeding.

“When you explain that to the Australian people, this is an uncontroversial simple proposition and I do feel optimistic about being able to see this referendum pass,” Marles said.

The result follows a week of criticism of the government over its decision to reject an application by Qatar Airways to operate more flights into Australia, potentially reducing competition and keeping airfares unnecessarily high.

Marles said he wasn’t consulted by Infrastructure Minister Catherine King before she made the decision to reject Qatar Airways’ request. The confusion over the reasoning behind the decision has fueled accusations that the government was protecting Qantas’ dominant position in the domestic market.

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