Of all the research data that has been published regarding same sex marriage there are two pieces that I believe matter the most, and it concerns women.
First: Essential Media has found over July and August that about two-thirds of women "support changing the law to allow same-sex couples to marry" as opposed to only about one half of men.
Second: Ipsos found in research published today that about 7 in 10 women will "definitely return their survey form" as opposed to about only 6 in 10 men.
These figures are crucial.
If women do participate in the proportion that the Ipsos poll reported, and there is no reason to doubt that they will, then the same sex marriage postal survey will find in favour of "changing the law to allow same sex couples to marry".
That is clear.
The question now is why such a clear gender discrepancy?
These are my speculations (and they are just speculations and generalisations based on anecdotal evidence).
Women are less threatened by gays, female or male, than many men and so much less likely to be homophobic.
Women who are mothers will tend to accept their children as they are, straight or gay. Whereas many men might be more inclined to see their children as a reflection of themselves, and so a gay male child might be a threat to their feeling of masculinity.
Women are far more aware of discrimination than men and so understanding injustice would be much more familiar to them.
These reasons, I believe, then explain the higher motivation among women to participate in the postal survey as they will be more committed to do something about the current situation.
And they will participate, as women are much less likely to 'forget' to fill out and return their survey forms, whereas for many men I am not so confident.
(Please Note: This illustration below is NOT the official ballot from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, but it is quite lovely).
Nothing, of course, is certain.
However, these research findings suggest that there is a very good probability that the same sex marriage survey will be carried in favour of changing the law.