A majority of MPs and Senators in Australia now want to vote for equal marriage

A majority of MPs and Senators in Australia now support equal marriage.

The number of parliamentarians in both Australian houses who have publicly said they would vote for marriage equality is just less than half.

However, a list compiled by Australian Marriage Equality confidentially suggested that a majority in both Houses would actually vote in favour of it.

The Coalition Government is facing immense pressure to call off plans to hold a public vote, a plebiscite, on the issue.

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Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott had insisted that Coalition MPs would not have a free vote on the issue, and that a plebiscite was the only way to settle it.

However when Malcolm Turnbull took over as Prime Minister in November when Abbott was ousted, he maintained that a plebiscite would take place.

This all comes despite an estimated cost of a plebiscite being AUD$160 million, and mounting pressure to allow a conscience vote on the issue.

The confidential list from the Australian Marriage Equality suggests that four senators and six MPs have privately said they would vote for equal marriage, reports the Guardian Australia.

If those parliamentarians voted in favour, alongside those who have already publicly indicated support, 78 out of 150 in the house of representatives, and 41 out of 76 senators, would vote in favour, both majorities.

The organisation also estimates that another eight lower house members, and another four senators would vote in favour of equality.

The director of AME, Rodney Croome said there was “no need for an expensive and divisive plebiscite.”

“This is an historic moment in the 12-year long marriage equality campaign because, for the first time ever we are over the line in federal parliament,” Croome continued.

“The majority is slim, but support for marriage equality never goes backwards and is likely to increase during a parliamentary vote with both [Malcolm] Turnbull and [Bill] Shorten in support,” he went on.