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Tim Wilson: The "No" Campaign Lost Because My Mother Wouldn't Vote Against Me

"I said to the No campaign many times, to win this vote you have to get my mother to vote against me."

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Liberal MP Tim Wilson says the "fundamental misunderstanding" of the "no" campaign in the same-sex marriage survey was that they could win by sowing doubt about marriage equality – but that approach couldn't override personal connections.

Tim Wilson.
Julian Smith / AAPIMAGE

Tim Wilson.

His comments come four days after it was announced 61.6% of eligible Australians voted "yes" to same-sex marriage, prompting the introduction of a bill to parliament, which prime minister Malcolm Turnbull hopes will pass before Christmas.

"I said to the No campaign many times, 'to win this vote, you have to get my mother to vote against me'. I don't think you'll be able to do that," Wilson told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday morning.

"That's why they were unsuccessful and that's what the result clearly shows."

"When somebody sowed a doubt, there was a connection back to somebody they knew."

.@timwilsoncomau says the same-sex marriage result should inform our thinking going forward as a modern Liberal par…

Wilson said he was unsurprised by the overwhelmingly strong support for same-sex marriage in Liberal-held seats.

He has said he will set a date "soon" to marry his partner Ryan Bolger.

"We are waiting for legislation to be passed."

Wilson was asked about a national survey of thousands of LGBTI Australians which showed four in five respondents had been adversely affected by the postal survey process.

James Ross / AAPIMAGE

Over half of those surveyed thought the process wasn't worthwhile even if the "yes" vote was successful, with 25% saying "definitely not" and 30% "probably not". Two thirds reported the survey was worse than they thought it would be.

Wilson said he felt he was "in a better position than most" to deal with the survey due to his age and the fact he has been debating the issue for a long time.

But, he said, there was "an incredible amount of anxiety" about the result prior to it being announced at 10am on Wednesday.

"But the landslide result delivered by the Australian people, I think, was worth fighting for," he said.

"It was a result that can unite the country and recognise that as a country, we have made an active choice now to be one that embraces all people, treated equally, with dignity under the law."

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at

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