Prime Minister Julia Gillard may not be able to contain the party’s push towards endorsing same-sex marriage at this weekend’s National Conference with media reports the party’s right is split on the issue.
News site Crikey yesterday reported the dominant Victorian faction of the National Union of Workers had formally backed party progressives over the issue of marriage equality.
It’s understood Victorian NUW delegates voted this week to support removing references to the ban on same-sex marriage from the party’s platform and reject the Prime Minister’s calls for a conscience vote on the issue.
There have been further suggestions that other union representatives associated with the party’s right may also defy the Prime Minister’s position and vote for change.
Victorian MP Danielle Green, ACT Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Victorian plumbers union official Nathan Murphy, usually aligned on Labor’s right, are also likely to vote in favour of same-sex marriage.
It’s understood Gillard has been calling delegates on the party’s right this week to sure up support for Labor’s position to remain unchanged.
If the numbers play out, around 20 votes are said to be in the balance, leaving hope there may be enough momentum for change on Saturday.