A new YouGov Galaxy opinion survey shows that Australians strongly support the need for legal protections for freedoms of thought, conscience and belief (including religious belief) and that support has risen sharply in the last two years.

  • 75% of those surveyed agreed that freedom of thought, conscience and belief in public through speech, practice and teaching needed to be protected. Only 5% disagreed and 20% were undecided.
  • Support has risen from the 62% who agreed to a similar question in a Newspoll in August 2017.

The YouGov Galaxy Poll asked about 8 freedoms, and found majority support for protecting each of them.

These included protection for the:

  • Freedoms of people to express and practise and teach their children their conscientious and religious beliefs without penalties or adverse action, including on issues where opinions differ such as man-woman marriage, sexual activity and gender fluidity (support ranging from 54% to 75%).
  • Freedoms of faith-based schools to continue to maintain their identity in their teaching, by employing staff who share their beliefs and by otherwise setting standards of conduct consistent with their religious ethos (58% support, 16% against, 26% undecided).

Voters aligned with each of the major parties expressed strong support for the need to protect freedoms.

On the question “Do you agree or disagree that each of these freedoms should be protected in Australia: Allowing freedom of thought, conscience and belief in public through speech, practice and teaching?”

  • Coalition voters: 80% agreed, 3% disagreed, 16% uncommitted.
  • ALP voters: 74% agreed, 6% disagreed, 20% uncommitted.

The survey was conducted over 7-10 May. The sample comprises 1,033 respondents, distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas.

Full results are accessible here and a PDF of this media release is here.  You can also download a shareable factsheet here. 


Authorised by Mark Sneddon, Executive Director Institute for Civil Society PO Box 2107 | Camberwell West | VIC 3124 | marks@i4cs.com.au