Culture

Young People Overwhelmingly Support Sydney’s Lockout Laws, According To A New Poll

But do the numbers stack up?

Lockout Laws

Sydney’s lockout laws are supposed to be a key generational dividing line across our community. They were introduced by baby boomer politicians and they’ve been furiously opposed by young people. But a new poll suggests that the laws have the overwhelming support of most NSW residents, including those aged 18-34.

Fairfax/ReachTEL poll has found that 70 percent of NSW residents support the 1:30am lockout in Kings Cross and the CBD and nearly 60 percent want the lockout extended to the rest of Sydney and right across the state. The results are similar to a previous poll that also showed majority support for the lockout laws, although that poll was criticised for being based off a relatively low sample.

The most interesting thing about the latest data is that it shows the lockout laws are supported by all age groups, including 18-34 year olds. In fact, 18-34 were the group that supported the lockout laws most strongly. There’s either something wrong with the poll results, or anti-lockout campaigners have severely underestimated young people’s support for the lockout laws.

Do The Numbers Stack Up?

According to the poll, 18-34 are more likely than any other age group, including those aged 65+, to support the lockout laws.

lockout 1

Unsurprisingly, some people are calling bullshit on the figures. It’s possible that most young people support the lockout laws. For those who live outside of Sydney, or don’t regularly go out in the CBD, the lockouts are unlikely to be a major issue. They might have been convinced by the arguments around safety. But it’s really weird to see a poll suggest younger people are the most likely to support the lockouts. Something doesn’t quite add up.

The entire poll had a sample size of 1600, giving it a margin of error of 2.8 percent. If it accurately reflected the state’s age profile, there would have been around 400 respondents aged 18-34. That means the margin of error is a bit bigger when you’re looking at specific age breakdowns. But there’s one other potential issue.

It’s pretty hard for polling companies to track down young people using phone-based methods of research. If they aren’t able to speak to 400 young people they just weight the responses they do get to make sure the overall result is in line with statewide demographics. So it’s possible even fewer young people responded to the survey, and that could explain why the results seem quite surprising.

Will The Lockout Laws Be Wound Back?

Regardless of the age breakdowns the overall picture is clear: NSW residents are backing the lockout laws. And that’s something campaigners will need to work on if they want them rolled back. Both the Coalition government and Labor are supportive of the laws, but the Greens oppose them.

This week will see the release of a long-awaited review into the lockout laws, but it will probably be a little while longer before the government actually responds to it. A recent court decision has granted exemptions to the lockouts to a number of strip clubs and live music venues. The government has already flagged it will appeal the decision meaning the battle for Sydney’s live-music scene is still well and truly on.