Australians will head to the polls on October 14 to vote in the first referendum in 24 years.
Ending months of speculation, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will officially announce the date in the must-win state of South Australia next week and kick off a six-week campaign.
It’s understood Mr Albanese will join prominent Voice supporters in South Australia next week in a bid to turn the tide and rally support for the proposed constitutional change.
In order for a referendum to succeed it must win the majority of votes in a majority of states.
Only eight of 44 referendums have succeeded in Australia’s 122 year history – all with bipartisan support.
The latest polls have support for the Voice slumping in every state, and according to the latest Newspoll surveys the “Yes” vote is ahead in only South Australia and NSW.
The votes are evenly split in Victoria, while the “No” vote is leading in WA, Queensland, and Tasmania, with the No campaign confident it can win over voters.
The Yes campaign is also targeting the island state.
Speaking alongside Voice campaigner Pat Farmer – a former Liberal MP and ultra marathon runner – Mr Albanese on Tuesday said the Voice was about “just three things”.
“Recognising First Nations people in our founding document, our Constitution,” he said.
“Secondly, giving them a Voice – an advisory body to government so that government can listen and so that we can get better results.
“A Yes vote is a vote to give respect to Indigenous Australians … an opportunity to lift our nation up, to show that we’re a confident and mature nation who can come to terms with the fullness and richness of our history.
“If not now, when?”
Mr Albanese has ruled out legislating a Voice to parliament if the bid for constitutional reform falls short, saying he will respect Australia’s wishes.