Western Sydney electorates, many of which are held by federal Labor ministers, voted No. These included Chris Bowen’s seat of McMahon, Michelle Rowland’s seat of Greenway, Tony Burke’s seat of Watson and Jason Clare’s seat of Blaxland. The No vote was also leading in the marginal electorates of Bennelong and Reid, though the numbers were closer.
Appearing on Channel Seven on Saturday night, Clare observed that while voters sometimes put political allegiances aside at a referendum, generally bipartisan support is needed for these changes to prevail. He noted voter support for the Voice was high last year but fell once the Liberals opposed it in April.
Former prime minister Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook had a No vote of 62.5 per cent, while No was narrowly ahead in Julian Leeser’s seat of Berowra. Leeser, a long-term proponent of Indigenous recognition in the Constitution, resigned as the shadow minister for Indigenous Australians so he could campaign for the Voice.
Leeser said on Saturday night he was disappointed with the overall result but respected the will of the people. He thanked those in his party and community who stood beside him in the campaign.
“We need each other. We belong to each other. We share this land, and we must walk together so that we can close the gaps between us,” he said.
The federal seat of Newcastle voted about 54 per cent Yes, while the neighbouring seat of Hunter voted 70 per cent No. On the Central Coast, the seats of Dobell and Robertson both voted No. All four are held by Labor.
ABC election analyst Antony Green observed eastern Sydney was voting Yes and western Sydney “solidly No”, which mirrored the results of the republic referendum in 1999. In 1999, NSW and Victoria both voted No, but by a slightly smaller margin than the other states, with about 42 per cent in favour.
NSW Liberal senator Andrew Bragg, an early Liberal champion of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a Yes advocate, blamed the Albanese government for the “disappointing but predictable” loss – despite Opposition Leader Peter Dutton campaigning for No.
Bragg said the federal government’s decision not to publish a draft of the Voice and its functions, or establish an extensive parliamentary inquiry into constitutional reform models, doomed the referendum to defeat.
“Labor refused to compromise and to run a coherent and collaborative process. The centre ground needed to win a public vote was almost non-existent,” he said. “The reality is Australia is a great country, but historically, we have not been a great country for Indigenous people.”
Polls had predicted a No victory in NSW, though they entertained the possibility of a late surge for Yes. A Resolve Political Monitor survey published by this masthead days before the referendum put the Yes vote at 48 per cent, up from 44 per cent in August and September.
The survey accurately predicted voters in Sydney’s inner suburbs would strongly support the Voice but those in the outer suburbs and regions would be opposed.
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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-votes-no-as-referendum-doomed-to-fail-20231014-p5ec7z.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Voice referendum results: NSW No vote revealed