Support for the Indigenous Voice across major cities and regional areas has fallen to not much more than a third of voters as the "No" vote grows to more than 60 per cent, a new survey of referendum day intentions has found.
The exclusive survey of more than 8600 people by ACM, the publisher of this newspaper, shows only 34 per cent of voters expressing support for the proposal to alter the Constitution to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, compared to 61 per cent who say they intend to vote "No" at the October 14 referendum.
Just 5 per cent say they are still undecided.
Conducted via online questionnaire by ACM's research unit Chi-Squared between August 22 and September 4, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese officially named the date of the referendum and launched the "Yes" campaign, the survey shows sentiment against the Voice has increased since ACM's previous survey in June.
That survey of more than 10,000 ACM readers, non-readers and members of the Crackerjack rural research panel showed 38 per cent supporting the Voice, 55 per cent against and 7 per cent undecided, with voters in the regions at 35 per cent "Yes" and 57 per cent "No".
The latest survey has the "Yes" vote among voters in Australia's five major metropolitan cities slumping from 40 per cent to 30 per cent, and the "No" vote growing to 61 per cent in the regions and 63 per cent in metro areas.
Even in Canberra, where "Yes" support remains the strongest, fewer than half of the people surveyed - 48 per cent - intend to vote "Yes", down from 52 per cent in June.
Women remain more supportive of the Voice (42 per cent) than men (26 per cent), with 70 per cent of males surveyed saying they were likely to vote "No" while 52 per cent of females said they would do the same.
"I will be ashamed of my fellow Australians if the "No" vote wins," a female "Yes" voter aged over 75 commented. "The Voice is not a total solution, but it is a start."
Women were also more likely than men to be undecided (7 per cent versus 4 per cent).
"It makes me feel like I am making a decision over the heads of other people, which is uncomfortable for me," a woman aged 18-39 who described herself as undecided commented. "I don't think this decision has anything to do with me so why do I have to decide?"
October 14's historic referendum will ask 17.5 million eligible voters if the First Peoples of Australia should be recognised in the Constitution by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to advise Parliament and executive government.
To succeed, the "Yes" camp has to win over a majority of voters nationally, as well as a majority of the voters in at least four of the six states.
ACM survey participants included readers of the network's 14 daily newspapers serving Canberra and the regional population centres of Newcastle, Wollongong, Tamworth, Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Wagga and Albury in NSW, Ballarat, Bendigo, and Warrnambool in Victoria and Launceston, and Burnie in northern Tasmania.
Responses to the anonymous questionnaire were weighted against the 2021 ABS census for age, gender and region to accurately represent the Australian population.
The results mirror falling support for the Voice in a number of recent opinion polls, with political scientists pooling national surveys estimating that the "Yes" vote is at 46 per cent and "No" is at 54 per cent (with a margin of error of 2.9 per cent).
Despite last week's debut of the Uluru Dialogue's stirring John Farnham You're the Voice advertisement, an analysis of the high-spending Yes23 campaign has shown 33 different positive messages creating a disjointed argument for "Yes" compared to the simple anti-Voice mantra of "if you don't know, vote no".
Asked if the Albanese government had done enough to explain the Voice, 72 per cent of ACM survey respondents said it had not - a level of dissatisfaction that hasn't changed since June.
"The government is keeping too many secrets about what is really involved," a woman aged 40-59 who intends to vote "No" commented. "Saying they will release full details after the referendum is just not right. It's lying to the Australian public."
But 46 per cent of respondents describe themselves as 'fully informed" on the proposed changes, up significantly from 29 per cent in the previous survey.
Metro voters were more likely to feel fully informed (50 per cent) than those in the regions (44 per cent), where a total of 20 per cent said they still felt somewhat uninformed or did not have enough information.
News websites (24 per cent), social media (14 per cent), TV (13 per cent) and newspapers (12 per cent) were the main sources of information overall.
"Other" sources cited by 12 per cent of respondents included First Nations people and The Voice to Parliament Handbook by Indigenous leader Thomas Mayo and former ABC 7.30 Report presenter Kerry O'Brien.
Voters aged 18 to 39 were more likely than other age groups to rely on social media (21 per cent), while Canberra voters were more likely than metro and regional voters to turn to newspapers (23 per cent).
Asked to nominate the main reason they support constitutional change, 39 per cent of "Yes" voters said the Voice would "finally recognise the First Peoples of Australia and help address the problem of racism an indigenous disadvantage".
Among declared "No" voters, 31 per cent said "we already have a federal parliament to make decisions for all Australians and we don't need more government cost and bureaucracy".