Turnbull ‘expects’ marriage equality vote this year

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull expects voters to return to the polls later this year to vote on marriage equality if the Coalition is elected.

In Western Sydney yesterday, Mr Turnbull said he hoped the vote would be held "as soon as possible" this year.

"We will hold it as soon as possible after the election. Given that the election is on July 2, we do have ample time between then and the end of the year. So I would expect it to be held this calendar year," he said.

"But it will be held as soon as practical as, obviously, legislation has got to pass through the Parliament, so all I can do is give you my commitment to hold a plebiscite as soon as we can and it will be a very straightforward question and we will be asking the Australian people whether they support the definition of marriage being extended to include couples of the same sex."

Labor opposes holding a plebiscite and has promised to legalise same-sex marriage in the first 100 days of office if elected.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said same-sex marriage was an example of where Mr Turnbull had changed since becoming Prime Minister.

"Now they look at Malcolm Turnbull, but they hear Tony Abbott," he said.

"He's been reduced to slogans. He hasn't been consistent with positions he's held for so long on climate change, on marriage equality, on the republic, on support for public transport.

"So I think they're very disappointed. They're not angry with Malcolm Turnbull. They're disappointed with Malcolm Turnbull."

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