When does the same-sex marriage postal survey close?

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.

What next?

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.

Michelle (left) and Theresa (right) rally in support of same-sex marriage in Melbourne. Photo: Scott McNaughton

Michelle (left) and Theresa (right) rally in support of same-sex marriage in Melbourne. Photo: Scott McNaughton

What is the early verdict?

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.

When it comes to opinion however, the Turnbull government's leading conservative cabinet minister - and a key architect of the same-sex marriage postal survey - believes the 'yes' campaign will win.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made the prediction just four weeks after the first ballot papers were distributed to households across the country, and four weeks before voting closed. Read the full story here.

Do you need more information? Visit marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au/postal-forms