Same-sex marriage in Australia: When will the results be announced and what happens next?
With the results of the same-sex marriage plebiscite in Australia looming, you may have some important questions to be answered.
A battle has been waged on both sides of the campaign, with many hoping that the fight will end with same-sex marriage being legalised in Australia.
So here are answers to a few questions you might have – to plan your celebrations or commiserations – and maybe even to start the important task of planning a wedding.
When will the results of the same-sex marriage vote be announced?
The results of the plebiscite on same-sex marriage will be announced at 9am Australian Eastern Daylight Time, which is 11pm GMT.
If you are in Australia at the moment, doors to Yes campaign events will open in capital cities on the east coast, that’s Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne, an hour before the result.
The No campaign, which is expected to lose in the vote, is not holding any celebratory events… shame.
The No campaign have said they will settle for a result over 40 percent, with Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister, saying that would be a “moral” victory.
The plebiscite result will be announced by statistician David W Kalisch.
He will inform a number of representatives ahead of the announcement, including Government ministers and some from the Yes and No campaigns.
Details of age group, state and federal electorate will also be given by Mr Kalisch.
Which side is expected to win in the same-sex marriage vote?
Polling on Tuesday, in the final 24 hours before the vote will be announced, showed that the Yes camp would win with 63 percent of the vote.
That percentage has grown in recent weeks as the vote came closer and both campaigns fought their sides.
So what happens next for same-sex marriage in Australia?
To begin with, a giant rainbow flag will be raised to mark the result at 5pm local time on Wednesday.
The flag flies about Taylor Square at the centre of the city’s LGBT+ neighbourhood of Darlinghurst.
If a Yes vote is successful, campaigners from the Yes campaign will head to Canberra to demonstrate for a quick change to the law to allow same-sex couples to marry.
On Thursday, it is possible that two contrasting same-sex marriage bills could be tabled in the Senate, which is sitting today.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that he hopes that, if the Yes vote is successful, that same-sex marriage will be legal “by Christmas”.
Monday, is the first day that a same-sex marriage bill can be tabled in the House of Representatives, which is not sitting this week.
A bill must pass in both houses before it can be signed into law by the Governor-General.
The public vote is not legally binding, so the battle would not be won, even if the Yes vote wins on Wednesday.
Politicians will vote how they choose, and Coalition MPs are divided on the issue.
Some MPs, at least six, according to polls, will still vote No, even if Australia votes Yes on Wednesday.
So if Yes wins, when will the first same-sex marriages take place?
If same-sex marriage becomes legal through the public vote followed by legislation, there could be a bit of a wait for those who wish to marry.
The standard waiting time for legislation to take effect is 30 days, however this could be longer if the Government decides that celebrants and other officials need more time to get acquainted with the new law.
Nonetheless, we are hoping for a positive outcome for tonight’s vote!
Good luck, Australia!