Public opinion on Indigenous issues and constitutional recognition: three decades of liberalisation

Ron Levy*, Ian McAllister

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Over the last decade, the debate about Australia’s relationship with Indigenous people has entered a new phase with the prospect of a referendum to amend the Constitution. In this paper we use a wide range of survey data going back to the 1970s to examine public opinion towards Indigenous issues and likely voting in any future referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians. Our results show a long-term liberalisation in public opinion which can be traced mainly to period effects within the electorate. This liberalisation in opinion is the major explanation for the large majority who would currently support a change in the Constitution to recognise Indigenous peoples. Our results have significant policy implications for how governments approach the inherent difficulties surrounding Indigenous recognition.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-92
    Number of pages18
    JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
    Volume57
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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