A new poll points to an overwhelming 'yes' for same-sex marriage in Australia's postal survey

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The Yes campaign for same-sex marriage has started in a strong position with more than two-thirds of those who intend to vote in the postal survey saying they will support change.

The latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll finds 65 per cent of voters say they are “certain” to participate in the non-compulsory postal survey to be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Of these voters, 70 per cent say they will vote Yes.

Of the remainder, 25 per cent say they will vote no and the other 5 per cent are undecided.

The Yes campaign for same-sex marriage has started in a strong position with more than two-thirds of those who intend to vote in the postal survey saying they will support change.

The latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll finds 65 per cent of voters say they are “certain” to participate in the non-compulsory postal survey to be conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Of these voters, 70 per cent say they will vote Yes.

Of the remainder, 25 per cent say they will vote no and the other 5 per cent are undecided.

If these findings are reflected in the survey, the results of which will be announced on November 15, same-sex marriage will be legal before Christmas.

While the findings are encouraging for the Yes campaign, nothing is being taken for granted by either side. Both face the challenge of convincing people to vote in a non-compulsory ballot.

The Yes campaign fears boycotts by those who oppose the process, and apathy by others who support change but are not passionate enough to vote.

The national poll of 1400 voters was taken from Thursday night to Saturday night last week after the High Court of Australia dismissed twin legal challenges to the postal survey, removing any further impediments to it going ahead.

The ABS will start mailing out the ballot papers on Tuesday. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said about 600,000 a day would be mailed out “so people won’t get them all at the same time”.

Controversy continued to swirl on the back of comments by Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, who scoffed at concerns raised by mental health experts of the effect of a No campaign which target gay people and their lifestyle rather than the issue of marriage.

Senator Canavan said they should “grow a spine”.

“I mean, let’s stop being delicate little flowers and have a proper debate,” he told Sky News.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said that was exactly the type of disrespectful contribution people on both sides should avoid.

Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said such comments were “very unfortunate”.

“There are young people in particular who are struggling with coming out, who are struggling with this debate,” he said.

Labor’s mental health spokeswoman Julie Collins said it had been established that young LGBTI people were six times more likely to die from suicide.

“There is no room for any person to be given a license to air hateful, ignorant or unsubstantiated views that may cause harm,” she said.

“This includes Senator Canavan.”

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, who also opposes change, reacted angrily to people who were campaigning on the issue, including Mr Turnbull who made a speech for the Yes case on Sunday.

“I just don’t want people standing on the corner yelling at me, telling me if I don’t agree with them then I’m somehow less than human,” he said.

“Get out of my face.”

Labor and the government were putting the finishing touches on a bill Monday which will apply similar protections to the survey, such as truth in advertising that apply to normal election campaigns.

Labor also pushed for provisions that prohibited hate speech.

“We need to have safeguards in place for this unnecessary survey,” shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said.

Acting Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann was negotiating the changes and both men were certain the bill would be through both houses of Parliament by the end of this week.

This article was originally published on the Australian Financial Review. Read the original here, or follow the AFR on Facebook.

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