But even ahead of the release of the results, conservative politicians inside the Australian parliament were preparing for a fight over how marriage equality would be legalized. The ABS has just published the results for the Australian same sex marriage plebiscite.
The Turnbull government has promised to move a bill in parliament if there is a majority Yes vote in support of same-sex marriage.
While the voluntary survey doesn't legally bind parliament, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he expects lawmakers to respect the outcome.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull returned from the ASEAN summit in the Philippines for the result on Wednesday morning.
"I don't believe Australians would welcome, and certainly the Government. would not countenance making legal, discrimination that is illegal, that is unlawful today", he said.
As many comparable countries such as the U.S. and Britain allowed or legislated for same-sex marriage, Australia looked increasingly out of step.
"I don't agree with the prime minister that this bill makes activities which are now legal, illegal", Canavan told RN Breakfast.
But because it was a survey, not a referendum, the results have no immediate effect.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has offered his support to the Smith bill and rubbished the Paterson bill, which possibly gives the Smith bill a better chance of succeeding. "I don't think this survey was a vote on expanding the capacity to discriminate in our society".
A private member's Bill co-sponsored by WA Liberal senator Dean Smith, Labor, Greens and crossbench senators will be introduced into the Senate today in what is expected to be the foundation for changes to the Marriage Act.
"A yes vote can not and should not and must not become a moment where others try to unravel existing anti-discrimination law", he said.
Earlier in the campaign, Abbott head-butted by a same-sex marriage supporter who later said the attack had nothing to do with gay marriage - just his personal opinion of Abbott.