An academic study is using Twitter opinions to gauge the results of the public vote for or against same-sex marriage in Australian.
While many opinion polls say that the yes vote will win and be around 60 percent of the vote, this Twitter opinion study says the opposite.
The study, by Academics David Tuffley and Bela Stantic, looked at over 458,565 tweets through the month of October.
At face value, the two found that there was an overwhelming amount of support for marriage equality. Specifically, they found that there was 72 percent support for the yes vote.
That said, they also found that only 15% of the yeses came from people over the age of 55. With that in mind, they adjusted the numbers and ended up with 57 percent support.
But that’s not all, they then adjusted the numbers again to make up for the low amount of tweets coming from people older than 55 (a voter pool that will show up in the actual vote). This ended up with a 49 percent yes rate for the vote.
Tuffley and Stantic are known for being surprisingly accurate when it comes to tough call votes and polls. For instance, they predicted the Trump win for the 2016 US presidential election.
And as they told Australian News Agency 9 News:
“It is likely to be a close-run result, much closer than the earlier polls suggested, and leaning in the direction of 'no.”
That said, the two do note that predications can have complications that get in the way of coming up with a true and fair answer.
"One of the problems with predicting poll outcomes is that people are often reluctant to say out loud what they really think about issues.”
"What people say online can often be more accurate than what they say to each other in this age of political correctness."