Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has no doubt that a plebiscite (public vote) would result in a positive outcome for marriage equality.

He told Tasmanian radio station 7HO FM that he personally would be voting to legalise same-sex marriage.

“I think the plebiscite will be carried. I think it will be a positive vote.”

Asked by co-host Anna Dare if she should start shopping for wedding gifts for her gay friends who plan to marry, Mr Turnbull said: “That’s up to you… but I think you’re unlikely to be disappointed.”

The PM said a plebiscite was a “thoroughly democratic” method to achieve reform, and pointed to polls that showed a plebiscite was the most popular option.

“I can understand it’s frustrating for people who want to get on with it, and obviously it does have a cost,” he said.

While marriage equality advocates fear a smear campaign against the LGBT community, Mr Turnbull said he believed public debate around the issue would be “perfectly civil”.

A plebiscite is planned for after the next federal election, which could be held as early as July 2 or as late as January 2017.

But is the Turnbull government is rolled at the election, the public vote would be scrapped by a Labor government in favour of a parliamentary vote.

Listen to Prime Minister Turnbull speak on marriage equality below:

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