How did New England vote in the same-sex marriage debate?

While the bush is generally considered more conservative, every rural seat in NSW voted in favour of allowing same-sex marriage. 

YES: Cafe 2340 owner Samantha Szyc was making rainbow coffees to celebrate. Photo: Gareth Gardner

YES: Cafe 2340 owner Samantha Szyc was making rainbow coffees to celebrate. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Across the nation more than 12.7 million people took part in the postal survey, with the yes vote getting up with 61.6 per cent.

In the federal seat of New England, 52.5 per cent – or 44,608 people – voted in favour of same-sex marriage, while 47.5 per cent or 40,3324 people, voted against it.

More than 85,000 people (76.9 per cent) of the electorate took part in the vote, while 25,581 (23.1 per cent) did not return their survey.

In neighbouring Parkes the voting results were almost identical, with 41,408 people voting yes (52.7 percent) and 37,108 people voting no (47.3 per cent).

The electorate’s participation rate was slightly lower than New England’s, with 78,757 people taking part (72.6 per cent) and 29,777 people staying out of the debate (27.4 per cent).

Many expected NSW’s traditionally conservative rural areas to be more likely to vote against changing the definition of marriage, but it was the western-Sydney areas leading the charge for the no vote.

NSW had the lowest yes vote of any state, at 57.8 per cent, where nearly eight out of every 10 eligible voters took part in the survey.

The ACT had the highest yes vote, at 74 per cent, followed by Victoria (64.9 per cent) Western Australia (63.7 per cent), Tasmania (63.6 per cent), South Australia (62.5 per cent), Queensland (60.7 per cent) and the Northern Territory (60.6 per cent).

Despite being a strong supporter of traditional values, Tony Abbott’s electorate of Warringah had one of the strongest yes vote results in the state, with 75 per cent.

The inner-city seats of Sydney and Melbourne tied for electorate with the highest percentage of yes voters in the nation, with both sitting at 83.7 per cent.

Overall, 133 of the 150 federal electorates recorded a majority yes response, with the remaining 17 recording a majority no response.

Females were more likely to take part in the survey, at 81.6 per cent, compared to males at 77.3.

What happens next?

THE people have spoken and nation’s legislators have wasted no time enacting the will of the majority.

A bill by Liberal senator Dean Smith was met with a round of applause as it was introduced to parliament at about 4.20pm on Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the postal survey results were released. It is expected to be debated early this morning.

But the hard work of amending it will not take place until the next sitting of parliament – which begins on Monday, November 27.

A number of conservative Coalition MPs have already stated their intent to put forward amendments to the bill, which will focus on protecting the rights of religious groups, such as allowing businesses and churches to refuse services to same-sex weddings without fear of penalty.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wants the legislation passed by Christmas.

Even if the legislation is passed in the next sitting fortnight of parliament, people might not be able to get married until next year, as the date of effect might not be immediate.


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