Same Sex Marriage Results in Excel

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Next Wednesday, Australia gets the results of their Same Sex Marriage survey with the details available to everyone with Excel.  Here’s how to get the survey results, prepare for the announcement and when it’ll happen.

We know most people won’t be interested in this singular Aussie exercise in democracy (don’t get us started …) It’s an excuse to us to demonstrate linking an Excel worksheet with your own charts or analysis.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will post the results at and they’ve published the ‘template’ worksheets already with empty cells.

Scroll down to the bottom to see links for two Excel spreadsheets:

Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey 2017 – Participation.xls

Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey 2017 – Response.xls


What most people are interested in.  A breakdown of the Yes, No and invalid responses by state and electorate.


The second worksheet shows participation by sex, age and location.

Protected View

Because the worksheets are downloaded, Excel will open them in Protected View, a read-only mode.  That’s not a sign of any problem with the download, just additional caution.

Click on ‘Enable Editing’ to get full access to the worksheet.

XLS worksheet!

The ABS is still using the old Excel ‘XLS’ format and not the newer, safer and smaller XLSX format. Come on, XLSX etc is over a decade old!

Do your own analysis or charting

Anyone interested can get the ‘template’ worksheets and setup their own number crunching, PivotTables or charts now.

  • Download the ‘template’ ABS worksheets.
  • Add some numbers into the cells so you have something to work with.
  • Make a new, separate Excel worksheet for your analysis or charts. Then import cells from the ABS worksheets into your own spreadsheet.
  • In more recent Excel’s use Data | Get and Transform | From Files | From Workbook to import a link to the downloaded worksheets. That’s the easier option.
    • Any Excel worksheet can use Paste Link from the ABS worksheets.

Now you can make your own charts etc in your worksheet based on the ABS worksheet.

When the results are published you can quickly update your work using real data.

  1. Download the final ABS worksheets with the real results.
  2. Save the worksheets to the same folder and same file name as the templates.
  3. Refresh the data import to your worksheet using the Refresh button on the Queries and Connections pane.

When will the results be announced?

The results of the Same Sex Marriage survey are out Wednesday 15th November 2017 at 10am Sydney time.   Ideally the worksheets will be available from at that time.

Lots of travelling and expat Aussies are interested in the result so here’s some global equivalents:

Auckland – noon, Wednesday

Beijing 7am Wednesday

Zurich  midnight, Wednesday

London  11pm Tuesday

Paramaribo – 8pm Tuesday

New York  6pm Tuesday

New Orleans – 5pm Tuesday

Our preferred site has a page with more cities listed.

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