Australians want Barnaby Joyce to step aside until high court citizenship decision

Australians want Barnaby Joyce to step aside until high court citizenship decision
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The majority of Australians think Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce should step aside until the high court decision regarding his citizenship. The Minister is among a number of MPs embroiled in a citizenship fiasco stemming from section 44 of Australia’s constitution, which prohibits dual citizens standing for parliament.

  • 45% say Minister Barnaby Joyce should step aside, whereas 38% don’t think he should.
  • This breaks down party lines, with 62% of Green voters and 58% of Labor voters thinking he should step aside, compared to just 30% of Coalition voters


On the two-party preference, the Coalition has pulled slightly ahead of Labor. The results are very similar to the YouGov-Fifty Acres poll a fortnight ago. Compared to other polls in the field in Australia, which give survey respondents a limited number of choices, the YouGov-Fifty Acres poll asks respondents to complete a full preferential ballot paper.

  • The Coalition are slightly ahead on 51, while Labor is slightly behind on 49.
  • On the primary vote, the Coalition are on 34% (unchanged), Labor are on 33% (up one), the Greens are on 10% (down one) and One Nation are on 10% (up one). Other parties are collectively on 13% (no change).
  • Health and hospitals (49%), Pensions (29%), Immigration and asylum seekers (27%), and Job security and unemployment (27%) are the issues that Australians say will be the most important in deciding how they will vote at the next election.


The poll also shows Australians who support same-sex marriage across all age groups are more likely to vote in the postal survey.

  • Most Australians say they are likely to take part in the survey, with 56% saying they are ‘very likely’, and a further 17% saying they are ‘fairly likely’.
  • 65% of over 55’s say they are very likely to vote compared to 43% of 18-24’s. This age divide would imply that those saying they are likely to vote are more likely to oppose the measure, as speculated in the media. But a breakdown of the data shows this is not the case.
  • Amongst those who say they are ‘very likely’ to take part in the survey, net support (the number of people saying they would support subtract those who say they would oppose) stands at 35%. Amongst those who don’t say they are ‘very likely’ to take part, net support stands at just 15%. This is because it is those that support the change, across all age groups, who are more likely to vote.
  • Despite the recent emphasis on the issue, same-sex marriage comes 10th on the list of issues that Australians say will be the most important in deciding how they will vote at the next election - just 21% pick it as a top issue. However, amongst young people the issue comes joint top, alongside schools and education, on 39%.
  • Australians still overwhelmingly support changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry, with 59% supporting the measure (down one), while 33% oppose it (up five).
  • Young people are more likely to support the change than older generations, with 80% of 18-24’s supporting compared to 51% of over 55’s. One of the only demographics that opposes the change is those identifying as Christian, with 47% saying they oppose it.


Meanwhile, the poll also found Australians don’t have a lot of trust in their banks and take a dim view of a ‘man tax’ to address the gender pay gap.

  • Over half (53%) say they have not much or no trust in Australian banks, compared to 44% who say they have a great deal or a fair amount of trust.
  • However, Aussie banks are still more trusted than the Australian Parliament (35% say they trust and 63% don’t trust) and Australian newspapers, (41% trust, 55% don’t trust).
  • Just one in five (21%) said a ‘man tax’ was a good idea, compared to 59% who think it is a bad idea. It comes a after a Melbourne cafe started asking men to pay an 18% ‘man tax’ to address the gender pay gap.
  • There is a small gender divide, with just 16% of men thinking it is  good idea compared to 26% of women.



Methodology Overview

The YouGov-Fifty Acres poll takes a very different approach to ascertain how Australians think and feel. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. Total sample size was 1012 adults aged 18+ years. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th – 21st August 2017. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+). The survey was carried out online.

This is the latest poll from YouGov, which has a proven record of accuracy in both US and UK politics. In the most recent UK election they were the first polling agency to correctly call the result, showing the country was heading for a hung parliament despite most other organisations showing a large lead for the Conservatives. All polling is subject to a margin of error so it is natural to see some variations from poll to poll.