Most Australians support gay marriage, the latest Nielsen poll shows.


The poll, published on Monday in Fairfax newspapers, found nearly 60 per cent of people support same-sex marriage, with 37 per cent against.

The same poll also shows the federal Coalition leads Labor by 51 points to 49 on a two-party preferred basis.

Labor holds lead in Victoria

But in Victoria, where voters go to the polls on Saturday, federal Labor holds a handy 53-47 lead, two-party preferred.

On same-sex marriage, 23 per cent of those polled said they strongly support legalising it, while 33 per cent said they support it.

This compares with 16 per cent who said they were opposed, 21 per cent who said they were strongly opposed, 5 per cent who said they neither supported or opposed it and one per cent who did not know.

Federal Labor also trails the Coalition on which party is best equipped to handle interest rates and creating greater competition in the banking sector – by 14 percentage points on both questions.

Labor has 35 per cent support

On primary votes, Labor is up one point to 35 per cent since the last poll a month ago, but three points down on its election day result in August.

The Coalition’s primary vote is unchanged on 43 per cent, while the Greens have dropped one point to 13 per cent.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s support as preferred prime minister is steady at 54 per cent, while Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s is up one point to 40 per cent.

When asked if the federal government should serve its full term, 55 per cent of respondents agreed but 42 oper cent said it was best an election was called as soon as possible.

The national poll of 1,400 people was taken between Thursday and Saturday.