Paterson has responded with an emphatic ‘yes’ to the same sex marriage survey, with 65.5 per cent of the electorate voting in favour of changing the law to allow same sex couples to marry.
Keen Paterson voters topped both the NSW (57.8 per cent yes vote) and national (61.6 per cent) results, while voter turnout was just about on par with the state and national figure of 79.5 per cent.
This meant that 93,253 in Paterson voted, compared to 24,264 who didn’t.
Of those who participated, 60,915 voted yes, while 32,059 voted no.
Our near neighbors in the electorate of Hunter posted similar figures, with 64.4 per cent of eligible voters ticking the ‘yes’ box.
To the north, in the Nationals-held electorate of Lyne, the yes vote was substantially lower with 55 per cent, while Newcastle recorded the highest yes vote outside of Sydney (75 per cent).
Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson took to Facebook to spruik the result, while Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie said that he’d reflect his electorate’s views, not his own, on the issue.
On the streets of Maitland, the general mood reflected the result of the survey.
“I think it’s really good. I’m really impressed the majority of Australia have voted yes,”18-year-old Aberglasslyn resident Maddi O’Connor said.
“I’m actually really happy about that because I’ve got some friends who are of that orientation and I’m sure they’ll be pleased,” said Lachlan Pile of Singleton.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to get married in the future because I don’t see why not.”
Joshua Brown of Thornton called the plebiscite “a waste of money” but said he had no issue with same sex marriage.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics announced the results of the plebiscite at 10am, also revealing that the cost of the national vote would be substantially less than the forecast figure of $122million.
Of the 150 Federal Electoral Divisions, 133 recorded a majority yes response, compared to 17 Federal Electoral Divisions with a majority no response.
Overall, 12,727,920 million people participated in the voluntary survey – representing 79.5 per cent of the more than 16 million eligible Australians.
The result is non-binding and still needs to be passed through Parliament.