A total of 77 per cent of eligible Australians have so far had their say on whether gay marriage should be legalised – with seven days left until the survey closes. The turnout is already significantly higher than when Ireland held a referendum on the same issue in 2015.
Some 1.95 million people went to the polls that year – a turnout of 61 per cent – as the country voted overwhelmingly in favour of gay marriage. More than 16 million registered voters in Australia, which has a population of 24 million, received voting papers asking for their views on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said an estimated 12.3 million surveys had so far been returned to them ahead of the end of the voting at 6pm on November 7.
The results of are due to be announced on November 15, but legislators in Australia are not bound to accept the outcome.