The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided good breakdowns of the SSM data by electorate, so I asked myself a question: was the turnout correlated with the % Yes vote?
“The nine seats that voted No by the biggest margins are all controlled by the Labor party, with the seven biggest all located in west and south-west Sydney.”
Here is what I find:
I’ve highlighted those seven highest No voting seats which SBS says are Labor held.
Fairly clearly from the data there is a correlation between turnout and the percentage of Yes votes. Furthermore the seven Labor seats with the highest No votes also have some of the lowest turnouts.
This suggests a couple of things:
- That shy or disillusioned voters failed to put in their forms
- That certain ethnic groups had both a low response rate and a high propensity to vote No
The first point suggests that the real proportion of voters who favour Yes to same-sex marriage is lower than the headline number of 61.6%. A cohort of as many as 10% of voters in low turnout electorates, who probably would choose No, in the end did not vote. Whether this was because of fear of backlash, concern about confidentiality or other reasons is not clear. But it does seem clear that the total Yes vote has been biased upwards somewhat by these shy voters.
I will leave to readers to draw their own conclusion about the second point.