The ABC has released their best guess as to the outcome of the plebiscite, publishing the percentage for and against same-sex marriage as measured by last year’s Vote Compass. There is plenty to talk about – including the surprising response from Tony Abbott’s electorate.
What percentage of Australians support same-sex marriage? Which parts of the country are in favour of the change, and which aren’t? How many people will actually end up voting?
These questions make it impossible to be certain about the result. The fact we can’t predict the future is also a glaring obstacle.
Last year, the ABC’s Vote Compass helped Australians decide who to vote for by polling participants about key issues. Importantly, it asked the individual whether they agreed, disagreed or felt neutral about the following statement: Marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
1.2 million Australians responded, and the figures confirm the majority of the nation is in favour of legalising same-sex marriage. But they reveal much more than that in the lead-up to the plebiscite.
This map shows every electorate’s stance on same-sex marriage. Orange indicated voters in support of same-sex marriage, white indicates neutrality and blue indicates opposition.
Unsurprisingly, levels of support vary greatly based on location with figures ranging from 42% right up to 79%. The closer an area is to the CBD of a city, the higher the level of support for same-sex marriage. Similarly, regional and outer-suburb areas are more likely to have a conservative stance on the issue.
Queensland ranks as the least supportive state of same-sex marriage, while Victoria sits at the other end of the scale with every electorate showing over 50% in favour. This is also the case in South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
In fact, geography seems to be more important than party representation. Three Labor seats in Sydney’s west show less than 50% support, while Brisbane’s most supportive electorates show a mix of Labor and Liberal National Party candidates.
The seats of Menzies and Canning are also fascinating examples: both electorates responded in favour of same-sex marriage despite the fact they are represented by Kevin Andrews and Andrew Hastie, two vocal opponents of the change in legislation.
Even Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah says ‘yes’, despite the former PM reaffirming his long-held stance of ‘no’.
We’ll still have to wait and see the result of the postal vote, which will be mailed to all enrolled voters over the next fortnight. Be sure to mail your form back to the ABS by Friday 27 October in time for the closing date of Tuesday 7 November.
The results will be published on the ABS website on Wednesday 15 November, and you can find everything you need to know about the plebiscite here.
To find out where your electorate stands, scroll down to the bottom of the ABC’s report for an A-Z list of every electorate in the country.