A senior Coalition source has told Eternity that Coalition backbenchers are fighting to ensure that the plebiscite on same-sex marriage is put back to 2017. A same-sex marriage plebiscite would have to be “very rushed” to make it through both Houses of Parliament for a poll this year.

The next sitting of parliament is only seven weeks long. The Government wants to deal with terrorism and some economic legislation as their first priority. A Senate enquiry and the drafting of a “yes” and a “no” case will occupy most of the time available.

The Prime Minister, Senator George Brandis and Senator Scott Ryan are key players who support same-sex marriage and who want to hold the plebiscite this year.

Conservative Coalition MPs are seeking more time for the “no” case to build up its campaign. Eternity understands that campaigning groups such as the Marriage Alliance support this push.

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