Is a same-sex marriage vote close?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hinted that same-sex marriage should be brought before Parliament via a cross-party bill, in a major shift in his language on the reform. 'If our Parliament were to make a big decision on a matter such as this, it ought to be owned by the Parliament and not by any particular party.'
As Mr Abbott also called on Labor leader Bill Shorten not to politicise the issue, estimates show Canberra is just one MP away from gathering enough support to a pass a same-sex marriage bill through both houses.
Labor's Anna Burke has become the latest MP to declare her support for same-sex marriage, which takes the lower house to 75 MPs in favour of same-sex marriage, based on Australian Marriage Equality's analysis. Seventy six votes are needed to pass a bill.
In the Senate, estimates have same-sex marriage passing with a majority of one.
These figures assume that Liberal MPs are given a free vote and includes MPs who have only declared their support in private.
Ms Burke's announcement comes as Mr Shorten announced he will introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage into the lower house next week, and in doing so, try and force the issue in the Liberal party room.
The move has angered some Liberal MPs who support same-sex marriage and do not think Labor pressure will help them secure a free vote for their side. It has also caused confusion in the Parliament, given Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm and the Greens also have same-sex marriage bills on the Senate's books.
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