Almost half of the Lower House MPs who voted for same-sex marriage last September would be swept out of office according to the latest Newspoll results for March 22-24 published in The Australian newspaper and collated by the ABC’s election analyst, Antony Green.
The results showed 45 per cent or 19 out of the 42 Lower House MPs who voted for the marriage equality bill would lose their seats at the September 14 election, leaving just one sixth of the Lower House in favour of allowing same-sex couples to marry.
Those particular lost seats would go to the Coalition and are made up of independents Rob Oakeshott and Craig Thomson, as well as 16 Labor MPs. It includes the seats of government ministers such as Kate Ellis, Stephen Smith and Peter Garrett.
Greens’ Melbourne MP Adam Bandt would also lose his seat but to Labor candidate Cath Bowtell who supports marriage equality.
Such a loss would leave just 23 MPs out of 150 seats in the Lower House who supported the issue at the last vote, as well as Bowtell.
Pro-gay marriage Labor MPs who are facing a large swing against them include Darren Cheeseman, Graham Perrett and Laura Smyth.
Vocal same-sex marriage opponent and Labor MP John Murphy would join the 15 other Lower House MPs who voted against marriage equality and are expected to lose their seats at the next election, made up mostly of Labor MPs and independent Tony Windsor.
However, just one of those seats that may change hands may go to a same-sex marriage supporter within the Coalition.
The seat of Melbourne Ports would come down to the wire based on the ABC’s election calculator, which predicted Liberal candidate and gay marriage supporter Kevin Ekendahl would win the seat with just a 0.2 per cent margin against long-time Labor MP Michael Danby, who abstained from the same-sex marriage vote.
It is unclear if marriage equality supporters within the Coalition, such as Higgins MP Kelly O’Dwyer, would cross the floor whilst Opposition Leader Tony Abbott continued to refuse a conscience vote for the party.
Federal Liberal senators Sue Boyce and Simon Birmingham voiced their support for marriage equality at the last vote but did not formally vote for it, while MPs Malcolm Turnbull and Warren Entsch have supported civil unions as a circuit-breaker compromise.
Labor’s Werriwa MP Laurie Ferguson and Chisholm MP Anna Burke were not able to vote but are both expected to lose their seats as well.
The predicted outcome is based on individual seat marginality compared against existing opinion polls.
The Coalition would win 110 Lower House seats next election based on Newspoll results.