LIBERAL frontbencher Christopher Pyne has dismissed the idea that government MPs could cross the floor to bring about a parliamentary vote on marriage equality.

Appearing on Sky News, Pyne told Sky News host Samantha Maiden, “I’m not aware of anybody even contemplating that.”

Earlier this month, Liberal Senator Dean Smith said he was drafting a marriage equality bill to bring to debate later this year.

Smith, who crossed the floor to vote against the plebiscite legislation, is an advocate for a conscience vote.

In reference to the marriage equality plebiscite, Pyne said, “There is no proposal at the moment to change that policy.”

“We have a policy. It’s the policy to have a national vote, and the only person standing between marriage equality and Australians is Bill Shorten,” the Minister for Defence Industry said.

“If he decided to support a national vote, he could do it tomorrow. If he had decided to support it last year, we would have had a national vote in February, we could well have had marriage equality by now.”

Pyne’s interview comes in the wake of the new Guardian Essential poll showing 61 per cent support for the legislation of same-sex marriage.

The poll also showed 50 per cent support for a national vote which would be binding on parliament.

The plebiscite, as currently proposed, would not be a binding result.

23 per cent of respondents favoured a parliamentary vote, while 9 per cent preferred a national vote followed by a conscience vote.

The poll reaffirmed the trend of younger people showing higher support for marriage equality, with 81 per cent of 18-to-24 year olds in favour.

46 per cent of people over 65 also responded favourably.

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