11pm / Ike Morris

That officially wraps up Central News’ live coverage of the 2023 Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. To recap, Australia has voted against enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution, with the ‘No’ vote ahead in every state and territory besides the ACT. For many Australians, regardless of which way they voted, it was a momentous day in the country’s history. It will undoubtedly be dissected in the weeks, months and years to come. 

Thank you for your company.

All states and territories vote ‘No’ except ACT  

10.30pm / Chris Lo

Referendum vote projections have concluded the ‘No’ vote has beaten the ‘Yes’ vote in Western Australia by a 18.9 per cent difference, with 59.8 per cent of voters saying ‘No’ while 40.9 per cent have said ‘Yes’.  

This projection was unsurprising after a domestic backlash over WA’s recent cultural heritage laws

WA now joins NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, TAS, and NT in the ‘ No’ vote landslide. ACT came out as the only territory to vote ‘Yes’.

Result “undoubtedly difficult to face” says Yes23 

10.20pm / Ike Morris

Yes23 campaign director Dean Parkin called the result disheartening.

“This is clearly not the outcome we worked to achieve, and I know many of us will be deeply saddened and disheartened by the result,” he said in a statement. 

“And while this result is undoubtedly difficult to face, we must continue to work together to ensure that our kids have a say over their own destinies and can walk safely and proudly in two worlds.

“Take this time to heal and to reflect on all that we have achieved together – and, when you can, recommit to the change we want to see in this country.

Parkin, who is from the Quandamooka peoples of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) in Queensland, added: “Thank you for taking this stand alongside us, and for walking with us.”

Dutton, Price call result ‘good’ 

9:55pm / Ike Morris

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and shadow Indigenous Australians minister Jacinta Nampijinpa Price called the failure of the ‘Yes’ vote “good for the country”.

“It is clear, obviously, that the referendum has not been successful, and I think that is good for our country,” Dutton said in a televised address. “This result does not divide us as a people. What matters is that we all accept the result in this great spirit of our democracy.

“The Prime Minister clearly was not across the detail, and he refused to explain or answer reasonable questions from Australians.

“This is the referendum Australia did not need to have.

“Tonight, I again commit the Coalition to implement the royal commission into child sexual abuse in Indigenous communities and an audit into spending on Indigenous programmes so that we can get the money where it is needed – to those families in regional and remote areas.”

Meanwhile, Price said Australians had voted for “no division without our constitution along the lines of race”.

“They have said no to the Yes gaslighting, bullying, to the manipulation,” she said. “They have said no to grievance and the push from activists to suggest that we are a racist country when we are absolutely not a racist country.

“For those of you that voted Yes, please know that we as a Coalition have always got the best interests of all Australians at heart. We want to make sure that we’re fighting for a better place for all Australians.”

Victoria Votes No, WA in doubt

9.35pm  / Rex Siu

A fifth state has voted No in the referendum today, ABC projects.

Votes are still being counted in Western Australia, which is the only state where a result is still in the air. Polls closed some time ago, but there have been no reports on the outcome.

Not the end of reconciliation says Linda Burney

9.20pm / Ike Morris

 “For many, today is a day of sadness. This is not the result we had hoped for,” the Minister for Indigenous said.

“I know the last few months have been tough, but be proud of who you are, be proud of your identity, be proud of the 65,000 years of history and culture that you are part of, and your rightful place in this country.

“We will carry on, and we will move forward, and we will thrive.

“This is not the end of reconciliation.”

Prime Minister takes blame

9.10pm / Ike Morris

Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese has accepted the result and responsibility for it.

“My fellow Australians, at the outset, I want to say that while tonight’s result is not one that I had hoped for, I absolutely respect the decision of the Australian people,” he said in a national televised speech following the official rejection of the vote by more. than two states.

“I promised our government would seek to answer the generous and gracious call of those 440 powerful words,” he said

“This moment of disagreement does not define us, and it will not divide us. We are not Yes voters or No voters. We are all Australians.

“It is now up to all of us to come together and find a different way to the same reconciled destination.”

Choking up at various stages as he spoke Albanese’s message to Indigenous Australians was: “Maintain your hope and know that you are loved.”

“Low” mood at Wentworth for Yes event

8.55pm / Lilas-Mae Njoo

Tonight, Wentworth for the Voice volunteers gathered at a local bowling club to watch the  results come in.

The mood was low once the failed state result was announced despite a strong showing in Wentworth itself. Wentworth MP Allegra Spender reminded volunteers to be “proud of the community”, and thanked volunteers for their work supporting the referendum.

The electorate of Wentworth gained a 67.1 per cent majority for ‘Yes’.


Wentworth ‘Yes’ campaigners drown their sorrows, despite a positive showing locally.

Australia rejects Voice

8.12pm / Ike Morris and Christopher Lo

In major breaking news, at 7:25pm AEDT, the ABC’s Antony Green projected that Australia will vote ‘No’ to an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. 

States like New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria are increasingly voting ‘No’ as the vote count continues, meaning that the majority of states voting ‘Yes’ will not be achieved. Nearly 34 per cent of the national vote has been counted.

Mr Green also said that the ‘No’ result had dominated the battleground state of South Australia, with 60.5% supporting that result in contrast to the 39.5% of ‘Yes’ supporters. Like South Australia, Queensland will join the number of ‘No’ states, with 65% of the population voting ‘No’, and only 35% voting ‘Yes’. 21 per cent of the Queensland vote has been counted thus far. 

Post-referendum, there will be many conversations in the ‘Yes’ camp and across the Australian nation about the immediate consequences and where to go from this decision. With either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ result, The Voice has surely provoked conversations on issues such as morality and race.

Slim divide between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in Victoria

7.29pm / Michaela Cullen

Figures are skewed toward a ‘no’ vote for a constitutionally enshrined Voice in Parliament in Victoria, but ‘yes’ follows closely behind.

According to The Guardian’s live updates, the ‘yes’ vote currently sits at 47.5 per cent out of the 20.5 per cent of votes counted.

A 5.3 per cent difference reveals the state’s close call, despite earlier claims of overwhelming support for the ‘Yes’ campaign by co-coordinator of Victoria’s Yes23 Campaign George Bath. 

Images reveal higher ‘Yes’ votes in Victoria’s urban areas than in outer areas. 

Live updates can be viewed here.

New South Wales on track for a ‘No’ vote

7.25pm / Ella Mullins

ABC’s Antony Green has predicted that New South Wales (NSW) will vote against enshrining the Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.

33.3% of the NSW votes have been counted, and a staggering 14% difference lies between the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ votes. 

With the ‘No’ vote as the leading outcome, the NSW population has voted in opposition to the referendum. 

The ABC reports that independent seats in Sydney’s north and east have maintained a clear vote in favour of the Voice to Parliament. In contrast, Sydney’s Western electorates have demonstrated a clear trend of voting in favour of the ‘No’ campaign.

Four teal seats are “very solidly yes” but will it be enough to win over a majority? 

You can follow tonight’s referendum results live here

ACT votes ‘Yes’, TAS votes ‘No’

7.10pm / Ike Morris

The ABC’s Antony Green has just projected that the Australian Capital Territory has voted in favour of enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, while Tasmania is likely to vote against it. 

While only 9 per cent of the vote has been counted in the ACT, 65 per cent of those votes have been for ‘Yes’, compared to 35 per cent for ‘No’. Tasmania has had 25.5 per cent of its vote counted, but 58.8 per cent of those votes are for ‘No’.

With several other states leaning towards a ‘No’ vote, it is looking increasingly unlikely that the ‘Yes’ case will be able to obtain a majority.

Youth voters swarming the polls as enrolment reaches record high

7pm / Michaela Cullen

More young people are voting in this referendum than ever before.

Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said youth enrolment increased 91.4 percent ahead of the vote.

Approximately 1.8 million 18 to 24-year-olds voted today as per AEC enrolment data, indicating a major generational shift as polling booths will be populated with younger voters.

“With many nations around the world campaigning to get even three-quarters of their population enrolled to vote, this result is a continuing source of Australian democratic pride,” said Rogers. 

Approximately 212,446 18-year-olds have cast first-ever votes.

Polls have officially closed for most of the eastern seaboard

6.05pm / Ike Morris

As of 6pm AEDT, referendum polls have officially closed in NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania. South Australia will be the next state to close its polls in half an hour, while Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory will follow in the coming hours.

The results of Australia’s eastern states will be a pivotal indicator for the final result, as they are home to more than half of the country’s eligible voters. If more than two of these states lean to a particular side, the referendum will likely be called soon after.

You can follow the live vote count here.

Could voting early be the way of the future?

5.35pm / Ike Morris

Joining you for live coverage this evening is Ike Morris.

The high number of Australian voters heading to the polls early has led to a debate on how the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) will conduct referendums and elections in the future.

According to the AEC, half of the 17.6 million people on the electoral roll voted early via postal vote or at an early voting centre. Speaking this afternoon, ABC’s data analyst Casey Briggs said this is a continuing trend from recent elections and other national votes.

“Lots and lots of people have chosen to vote yesterday instead of today, more than a million … and it’s kind of changing the way that we think about these events,” Briggs said.

“They are not a one-day election or referendum anymore, this is a period in which people are voting and a period in which people are making up their minds at different times to go and have their say.”

This trend could instigate a critical review by the AEC into how national votes are carried out in the future.

Strong support for ‘Yes’ vote in Melbourne sparks final hope

5.25pm / Ella Mullins 

The Victorian co-ordinator for the ‘Yes23’ campaign George Bath is in high spirits after receiving positive feedback from volunteers that indicates a clear support for the ‘Yes’ campaign. 

Bath said, “A huge number of people who haven’t engaged until today are saying they intended to Vote Yes. We’ve seen a great response from the African, Indian and Sri Lankan communities in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.”

However, despite the overwhelming response to the ‘Yes’ campaign, Melbourne residents took to social media to express their frustration with the AEC after the Commission failed to organise a voting centre in the CBD. 

With only three voting centres available located at South Melbourne, Docklands, and Victorian College of the Arts, queues of up to 2 hours long have formed. 

A spokesperson for the AEC has said, “There will be eight million people through the doors today with options of where and when to go. Such systems will always have queues and people are being directed to multiple other close-by options with little wait time.”

“We ask for patience and for voters to plan their vote in a system held high in Australia’s consciousness.

Cops called to quell poll booth bust-up

4.45pm / Jessica D’Souza

Tensions are running at an all-time ahead of this evening’s final poll count, with heated words being exchanged by community members in Sydney’s Inner West. 

A ‘No’ campaigner claimed to have been allegedly assaulted in Newtown, despite the claims of NSW Police. 

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Central News that he was assaulted by a member of the public while campaigning for the ‘No’ case this morning.

“It’s been aggressive in Newtown, I’ve been assaulted, and five police cars have shown up and something like…I don’t know…like 10 police officers, so it’s been rough.”

However, NSW Police spokesperson Joanne Elliot confirmed that local police responded to a “fairly vigorous exchange” between two people at the centre, but no physical assault occurred. They urged anyone with information to the contrary to contact Newtown Police. 

Speaking to Central News outside TAFE Ultimo’s voting centre, he said he believed there was a “silent majority” of ‘No’ voters. 

“I think having a Voice to Parliament, or having an extra voice…you’re actually getting a special voice of your own that no one else gets to have.”

A ‘Yes’ campaigner also spoke to Central News outside the TAFE Ultimo voting centre. She said her experience of the day had been “fabulous”.

“I think everyone is trying to do the right thing and people who have questions are all valid questions, so I’m just here trying to share what my view is and questions that they might have.”

The campaigner said she believed volunteering outside the centre was “the least” she could do to support the ‘Yes’ campaign.”

“And hopefully Australia does the right thing and we wake up tomorrow to live in a better country for everyone.”

‘Yes’ voters in La Perouse express optimism, but fear result

‘No’ Campaign under fire from Greens Party

4.35pm / Ella Mullins 

Tensions are running high after the ‘No’ campaign is facing criticism from the Greens Party following a stream of text threads that advocate the No vote.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has described the ‘No’ campaign’s tactic as “straight from the Trump playbook.” 

“The nasty No campaign still using dirty lies, deception and fear right to the end. Voters receiving these text message today scaring them into voting No. This is why we need stronger laws on political advertising.” – @sarahinthesen8

Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley has argued that the texts were a part of democratic functions: 

“We’ve always been involved in distributing postal votes — both sides of politics have.” 

Despite the Greens’ alleged claim that the texts promote that voting against the no campaign would lead to a fine, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has said that the texts are completely legal. A spokesperson for the AEC confirmed the committee received a complaint from the Greens Party, but no breach of conduct could be determined on behalf of the ‘No’ campaign. 

How can the referendum be passed, and the Voice established in the parliament and enshrined in the constitution?

3pm / Lilas-Mae Njoo & Jessica D’Souza

A successful double majority is required for this Bill to be passed by the Parliament, meaning that a majority of people across the country vote “yes” and a majority of voters in at least 4 out of 6 states. 

Votes from the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory will be counted in the National total, but are not towards the majority of states. 

If a double majority is achieved, the Bill will be presented to the Governor-General for assent, becoming an Act altering the Constitution. This Act is constitutionally enshrined and operational on the day it receives assent.

Roy Morgan polling currently projects Victoria as the only state voting “yes”, though Revolve Strategic (on behalf of Nine Newspapers) projects Tasmania as the only “yes” state. Both polls project New South Wales, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland to vote “no.”

Michaelia Cash is fired up

2.30pm / Ella Mullins 

Western Australia senator and Shadow Attorney General, Michaelia Cash is fired up and showing public disapproval towards Prime Minister and Labor Party Leader Anthony Albanese. 

The WA Senator said in a press conference this morning, “It [the Voice to Parliament] will divide Australians regardless of the outcome tonight.”

“The one thing Mr Albanese has done is divide this nation, and it’s a great shame that he has done this as a leader.”

Cash has been no stranger to the anti-referendum debate, encouraging Australian voters to choose ‘No’. As a key figure for the ‘no vote’, Cash urged the current government to turn their attention to issues that affect “all Australians”, such as the cost of living crisis.

“I would hope Mr Albanese can wake up tomorrow and say to Australians, regardless of the outcome, we need to unite, we need to move forward, and we need to do all we can do to ensure the best possible outcome for our most disadvantaged Australians.”

Democracy Sausages are back. Don’t forget to vote if you haven’t.

2.40pm / Rex Siu

Australia’s old polling fashion has once again shown up at today’s referendum. 

No matter whether one votes for Yes or No. There seems to be no division between the love of democracy sausages.

Afternoon polling is underway. If you have not voted, find the nearest polling place here: https://www.aec.gov.au/referendums/voting.htm#start

The Socceroos show their support for the ‘Yes’ campaign 

2.10pm / Ella Mullins 

The Australian national soccer team showed their support for the ‘Yes’ vote in London after sporting t-shirts in favour of the Voice to Parliament. 

Goalkeepers Andrew Redmayne and Mat Ryan as well as midfielder Jackson Irvin wore the ‘Yes’ logos along the side of the iconic pitch at Wembley. 

Despite an overnight 1-0 defeat to England, the Aussie footballers arrived at Wembley Stadium wanting to ‘say yes to progress’

Football Australia has echoed its support for the Voice to Parliament following the Uluru Statement from the Heart. 

Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, said:

 “As the largest club-based participation sport in the country, we play a significant role in Australia’s reconciliation journey. This belief is deeply ingrained in our organisational DNA. We have recognised and celebrated the legacy of figures like Charlie Perkins, Frank Farina, Jade North, Travis Dodd, Lydia Williams, and Kyah Simon and their contributions both on and off the field. 

“It’s imperative for us to continue acknowledging the ongoing and modern-day significance of such legacies.”

Peter Dutton dodges on the voting day

12.56pm / Ella Mullins 

Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton, one of the most prominent No campaigners, has taken a step back from the media this afternoon after an early appearance on Sunrise. 

He said, “I’ve advocated ‘no’ because I just don’t think we’ve got the detail.” 

Dutton has been a key leader of the ‘no’ campaign since the announcement of the Voice to Parliament referendum.

“There are now four, maybe five out of 10 Labor voters who are voting ‘No’. I don’t think they’ve been too influenced by what the Liberal Party’s had to say.” The frontman for the Coalition also said on the Channel 7 program.

Despite steering clear from mainstream media for the remainder of the afternoon, Dutton has taken his thoughts to social media. 

“Today’s referendum is important. It affects all Australians. This Voice would represent the biggest change to Australia’s Constitution in our history, yet the Government hasn’t provided the details of how this Voice would work.”

“It is risky, unknown, divisive and permanent. So, if you don’t know, vote no.” – @peterduttonmp, on Threads

What is in store for this afternoon’s polls? 

12.36pm / Ella Mullins 

Joining you for this afternoon’s live coverage of the referendum is Ella Mullins here. 

With already 8.41 million Australians placing their ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes into the polling boxes, what trends can we expect for this afternoon’s polling course? 

Despite Prime Minister Anthony Albanese encouraging Australians “to make history”, key leaders in favour of the ‘no’ campaign are confident they will lead the polls. In what seems to be a display of muddled feelings, the ABC reports “mixed opinions” at voting stations along the Central Coast of New South Wales. 

With voting centres open until 6 p.m. this evening, it is anticipated to be a busy late afternoon.

Referendum breaks records

12pm / Jessica O’Bryan

As Australians head to the polls today, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) says about 8.4 million people have already cast their vote. 

This includes 6.13 million people attending pre-polling centres and 2.1 million people applying for a postal vote. 

Yesterday was the largest single pre-polling day in the nation’s history, with more than a million people casting their votes, according to the AEC. 

The 9.2 million Australians who are voting today can do so at more than 7,000 polling stations across the country.  

Quiet noon at the polling stations in Sydney

11.47am / Rex Siu

There was reportedly a rush of voters casting in the morning in La Perouse and Frenchs Forest, and as we are reaching midday, queues have been slowing down.

Late morning sees a slower casting scene in La Perouse Public School. Photo: Tallas Lynch / Central News.

Polling station at La Perouse Public School. Photo: Shaun Dourado / Central News.

What are the current predictions, and when will we know the result?

11.43am / Lilas-Mae Njoo

Current polling predicts that the referendum will be unsuccessful, but political experts speaking to The Guardian pointed out that differences in polling methods mean it is impossible to know for sure until vote counting concludes. 

With smaller, rural booths having their votes counted first, it is likely that it will look like a majority “No”, early on in the count. Past referenda show that rural communities are more likely to oppose a referendum, with current polls predicting that people from metropolitan areas will be more likely to vote “Yes”.

Australians will only get an idea of if the Referendum has been successful once polling booths close their doors at 6pm local time and counting begins. The referendum is only one question, with only two possible answers, so the wait is expected to be short. Western Australia will be the last to finish voting at 9pm AEDT, so a landslide vote either way may mean a sure majority before WA have finished voting.

Key ‘No’ campaigners cast their vote

11.35am / Jessica O’Bryan

Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe, a prominent ‘No’ activist, voted in Melbourne’s northern suburbs this morning. 

Addressing the media outside the Northern School for Autism in Reservoir, Thorpe called today “a sad day for Australia.”

“How dare 97 per cent of this country decide our destiny. This referendum has done nothing but hurt people, divide communities, divide families,” she said. 

In Sydney, fellow ‘No’ campaigner Warren Mundine said Australians must unite and work towards improved outcomes for First Nations communities, regardless of this evening’s outcome. 

“No matter what the result is, whether it is yes, whether it is no, we have all got to come back together and start working on the real issues that will make this country a better country,” he said. 

“We have built a great liberal democracy and freedoms and liberties, and one good thing that has come out of this referendum is that everyone, yes or no, have all been committed to making lives better for Aboriginal people.”

We are covering the voting day at the front

11.24am / Rex Siu

Central News is reporting live for you on this historical Saturday. Our reporters, Tallas Lyncht and Shaun Dourado, are now in La Perouse and as voters casting their votes early in the day.

NSW Premier and Linda Burney vote ‘Yes’

11.12am / Jessica O’Bryan

Chris Minns, the NSW Premier, and Linda Burney, the Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, voted ‘Yes’ this morning in their local electorate Kogarah. 

Minns began the morning optimistically, posting on X, “It’s a great day to vote Yes. Let’s do this.”

Speaking to voters at the Carlton South Public School polling station, Minns made a final pitch to voters, saying a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament is a unique chance to improve the lives of First Nations communities. 

Burney reiterated the importance of getting a ‘Yes’ vote today, saying, “the issues faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this country are a national shame.”

She acknowledged one in five Australians are still undecided but encouraged them to vote wisely. 

“This is everyone’s opportunity to change the outcomes,” she said. 

Albanese’s final push for “YES”

11.04am / Lilas-Mae Njoo

In a last plea for Australians to support the Voice, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed voters in Balmain this morning: “Today is the day”. 

He called on the media to focus simply on what this Referendum is about, “just two things: recognition and listening. That’s what people are voting for”. 

Albanese reminded Australians of the inequality the Voice aims to address, citing lower life expectancy, higher rates of incarceration, and increased likelihood of dying in childbirth. Responding to the No Campaign’s claims that the Voice will be divisive, he said:

“I tell you what division represents in this country – division is the division between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

A rallying call to vote “yes” from the Prime Minister and an “opportunity to make history”. 

What is the question?

10.57am / Lilas-Mae Njoo

Here’s the question voters will be answering as they head into the booths, simply writing “YES” or “NO” in the space provided:

“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

What is the Voice to Parliament?

10.54am  / Lilas-Mae Njoo

The referendum proposes altering the constitution to include an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which would be an independent advisory board on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The board would not have any power in lawmaking besides providing counsel to the Parliament. 

The Voice comes from the 2017 Uluru Statement From The Heart, wherein nearly 250 Indigenous Australian leaders and elders called for Voice, Treaty, and Truth. The Voice was proposed by Indigenous Australians with the aim of improving Indigenous Australians on matters such as health, education and housing.

Find your nearest polling station at https://voicereferendum.com.au/.

Good Morning, it’s today – Australia will have a decision to the Voice to Parliament

10.38am / Rex Siu

It’s voting day across the nation, as Australians head to the polls to decide if an Indigenous Voice to Parliament will be enshrined in the Constitution. Follow along here for live updates throughout the day.

Here are Rex, Lilas-Mae and Jess to bring you the latest updates from Sydney and across the country.

Is it a Yes or No? We will find the answer soon.