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Former Coalition minister Ken Wyatt urges Opposition to listen to voters on Voice ahead of Liberal Party meeting

Callan Morse -

Ex-Liberal MP Ken Wyatt has warned the Liberal party about the consequences of ignoring public sentiment on the Voice ahead of the Liberal's party room meeting.

The first Indigenous Australian elected to the House of Representatives said a lack of support for the Voice from the Liberals could have long-term consequences for the party.

"Parties can no longer ignore the will of people because social media has a profound impact in informing people on ... fairness they want within Australian society," he told ABC Radio National.

"Parties that are out of touch will pay the consequence in the future."

Mr Wyatt's comments come following a recent Newspoll conducted by The Australian and published this morning, which indicated 54 per cent of all voters support constitutional recognition and and the Voice to Parliament, with 38 per cent opposed.

If results similar to the Newspoll of almost 4,800 people occurred on referendum day, the critical double majority required for a referendum to pass would be successful; a majority of voters in a majority of states.

At today's party room meeting, opposition leader Peter Dutton and the Liberals are expected to discuss a position on the Indigenous Voice referendum proposal.

Mr Dutton's deputy Sussan Ley said the party room would discuss the "substantial issues" they have with the Voice proposal.

"There isn't a moral high ground, there is no one (person) who is better able to articulate that by way of simply pushing something through and demanding that Australians vote for it," she told Sky News ahead of the meeting.

"Unfortunately, in my view, the process has run well and truly off the rails."

However Mr Wyatt, a Referendum Working Group member disputed Ms Ley's comments, suggesting work on the constitutional reform stemmed back many years.

"This is not all new work, it's been a culmination from (former) prime minister John Howard, Julia Gillard and subsequent prime ministers," Mr Wyatt said.

"We've had this continuity and there have been numerous reports ... people who argue contrary to that shows that they did not give scant attention to even the executive summary of those reports."

Ahead of today's meeting, current Liberal MP's including New South Wales senator Andrew Bragg have called for a conscience vote on the matter, a precedent set by the party on republic and marriage equality debates.

"In the past you've had (former prime minister) John Howard voting 'no' on the republic and (former treasurer) Peter Costello voting 'yes'," Senator Bragg told ABC Radio National.

"Then you had (former prime minister) Malcolm Turnbull voting 'yes' on marriage equality and other members of his cabinet voting 'no'.

Regardless of whether a conscience vote occurs within the Liberal party, opposition spokesperson for Indigenous affairs Julian Leeser said there are no guarantees the party will have a firm stance on an Indigenous Voice referendum following today's meeting.

"I don't think people should assume we'll have a completely concluded position on things on Wednesday," he said.


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