Polling: Territory Rights & Voluntary Assisted Dying

The Australia Institute conducted polling research of a representative sample of 1,005 people across Australia about their views on Territory rights and voluntary assisted dying (VAD).

The results show nationwide high support for VAD and for the Commonwealth allowing the Territory governments the right to legalise VAD in their jurisdictions, including majority support across all religious affiliations analysed and across all voting intention demographic categories.

Key Findings:

• Overwhelming majority of Australians (78%) support the Commonwealth allowing the Territory governments to legalise voluntary assisted dying within their jurisdictions, 11% oppose.

• Anglican (82%) and Catholic Australians (79%) are as or more likely than the average Australian (78%) to support the Commonwealth allowing Territory governments to legalise VAD within their jurisdictions, with just 12% and 10% that oppose, respectively.

• Overwhelming majority of Australians (78%) agree that voluntary assisted dying should be legal, 10% disagree.

• Majority of voters across all parties support the Commonwealth allowing Territory governments to legalise voluntary assisted dying; Coalition 73% support, 16% oppose; Labor 80% support, 10% oppose; Greens 88% support, 5% oppose; One Nation 68% support, 12% oppose; Independent/Other 77% support, 11% oppose.

“Our research shows the majority of Australians, across all voting intentions and religious affiliations analysed, support the Federal Parliament giving back Territory rights on legislating voluntary assisted dying,” said Bill Browne, Director of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“ACT and NT residents should not be second class citizens. The citizens of Australia’s Territories deserve the same democratic rights afforded to Australians living in the six states.

“In addition to the strong majority of Australians supporting access to Voluntary Assisted Dying choices, the overwhelming majority view was that the Territories should be free to make their own democratic decisions, without the historical interventions of the Federal Parliament.”

​“Territory Rights should not be a matter of conscience, but one of equality. However, all Members of Parliament when voting on this legislation can rest assured that Australians from all sides of politics and across religious faiths support restoring the Territories’ right to legislate VAD.

“The principle that a person experiencing unrelievable suffering who asks to die should be allowed to receive the assistance of a doctor to do so is a question of humanity. The State Parliaments of Australia are to be commended for recognising this, and it is time for the 47th Parliament of Australia to follow suit.”

Full polling brief with polling methodology, margin of error, and questions as they were put is attached.
The Australia Institute is an accredited member of the Australian Polling Council.

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