Following months of public division over same-sex marriage, the government’s postal plebiscite is coming to an end.
When does the survey close?
Friday October 27 - Mail your form back to the Australian Bureau of Statitics by this date to make sure it counts.
Tuesday November 7 (6pm local time) - The survey closes. If your survey is received after this, it will not be counted.
On Wednesday November 15 the survey results will be published on the ABS website. The Australian Statistician will publish a statement on the quality and integrity of the survey.
If the plebiscite results in a majority 'Yes' vote, Coalition MPs will be allowed a free vote in Parliament on a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. They will not be bound to vote in line with the result of the public ballot. If the plebiscite returns a majority 'No' result, the government will not allow a free vote, meaning MPs will remain bound to change, even if in opposition.
Countries where same sex marriage has already been legalised:
What is the early verdict?
A Fairfax/Ipsos poll recently found that the "yes" side is headed for a resounding victory with seven out of 10 definite voters backing a change to the law.
Earlier this month the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed nearly 60 per cent of eligible Australians had already voted. The voluntary postal survey is an anomaly in Australian democracy, wherein compulsory voting is the norm, and a high turnout is crucial to lending the poll legitimacy.
The ABS has not yet released any data about how many "yes" or "no" responses had been received.