A recent survey conducted on behalf of the Rationalist Association of New South Wales and the Humanist Society of Queensland has found that only 14 per cent of Australians were influenced by their religious beliefs the last time they voted.
In a press release issued on 9 September 2015, representatives of the two organisations express their doubts about the political strength of the religious vote and the idea that politicians must “live in fear” of it.
Max Wallace, the Vice-President of the Rationalist Association of NSW, said that the results cast doubt on the notion of an influential, across-the-board Christian, or Catholic, first preference vote in Australia. Wallace said, “It does not automatically follow that a majority of Catholics, say, in various electorates, will vote as one for political parties whose policies echo those of the church.”
He added: “I suggest the widespread indifference to religion when voting, squares with what we know about Australians’ support for voluntary euthanasia, gay marriage, and their very low, regular church attendance.”