ANU EXPERTS: Marriage Law Postal Survey

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 — At 10am on Wednesday 15 November the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the result of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Australians voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, with the Yes vote victorious by a margin of 61.6 per cent to 38.4 per cent.

The Australian National University (ANU) has experts available to speak about the result and its implications for Australia.

They can be contacted directly, or through the media hotline on 02 6125 7979.


Dr Liz Allen
ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods
T: 0401 358 091
Expertise: Australian social trends

“Despite a flawed process which advantaged the No campaign, Australians overwhelmingly participated and supported marriage equality.” “The result from the survey indicate strong participation across all age groups and states and territories with little exception.” “Given the participation rate we can be confident that the marriage law survey is a valid representation of what Australians want,” Dr Allen said.

Dr Jill Sheppard
School of Politics and International Relations
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: (02) 6125 7898
M: 0407 052 927
Expertise: Australian federal politics

“This shows the futility of the whole exercise, because we could have predicted this result from existing survey research.” “It is a strong and clear result which should clear a path for imminent legislation,” Dr Sheppard said.

Dr Andrew Hughes
Research School of Management
College of Business & Economics
M: 0413 130 129
Twitter: @marketingandrew
Expertise: Political marketing and communications

“There is nothing unexpected about the result but it does show a resounding victory to the Yes vote.” “The No vote can’t be ignored either, 4.9 million people said no and you can’t ignore 4.9 million people.” “The battle now moves into the Senate. We may even see a bill introduced as early as this afternoon, which would be based around Dean Smith’s bill, to make marriage equality legal by Christmas,” Dr Hughes said.


Professor Michael Platow
ANU Research School of Psychology
T: (02) 6125 8457
Expertise: Social and community psychology

NOTE: Professor Platow has conducted a study interviewing 200 Yes voters and 200 No voters to get their perspectives on the respective campaigns

“Both sides see themselves as being more ‘Australian’ and more competent.” “What’s interesting is that each side sees the other side as being more prejudiced, each side sees the other as being more sinful and less in favour of freedom of speech,” Professor Platow said.


Simon Copland
PhD Candidate
School of Sociology
Tel: (02) 6125 3154
M: 0423 390 887
Twitter: @SimonCopland
Expertise: Sociology, sexuality and same sex marriage

“This highlights huge community support for marriage equality among Australians.” “It shows how far we have come over the last ten years in terms of support for marriage equality and support in general for LGBTQI people.” “Public opinion has changed significantly on this issue and that has been shown today.” “We need a bill that gets passed as soon as possible, we want a clean bill that does not have the same sort of discrimination that has been embedded in the James Paterson bill.” “This needs to be passed by Christmas in a way that reduces discrimination rather than increases it,” Mr Copland said.


Dr Ryan Goss
ANU College of Law
T: (02) 6125 9879
Expertise: Constitutional law, law in politics


Emeritus Professor John Warhurst
School of Politics & International Relations
Research School of Social Sciences
ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences
T: (02) 6125 3882
Expertise: Australian federal politics


For media assistance, contact Aaron Walker from the ANU Media Team on 02 6125 7979, 0418 307 213 or at