Equal marriage efforts in Tasmania looked to have taken a blow this week, as three available seats on the Legislative Council were set to be taken by equal marriage opponents.

Tasmania’s same-sex marriage bill failed to pass the Legislative Council in September after a key member indicated he would vote against it. 

Now, three opposed to equal marriage appeared to be set to take up three seats in the upper house.

Jim Wilkinson, a long-term sitting member for Nelson, looked set to be re-elected with 48.8%, and the majority of votes counted. He had held his seat for 18 years, and voted against last year’s equal marriage bill.

Wilkinson’s seat had been a target for advocates of equal marriage, and he faced three candidates in favour of it, including Green Party’s Tom Baxter, who received 25.33% of the vote.

Online advocacy group GetUp! was also running a campaign aiming to unseat Wilkinson, reports SBS.

Liberal Party’s Vanessa Goodwin, with 51.23% of the vote also looked to be re-elected to the Pembroke seat, and looked set to be joined by fellow Liberal Leonie Hiscutt, who gained 45.57% of the vote in the Montgomery seat.

Goodwin voted alongside Liberal colleagues in the lower house, voted to oppose equal marriage last year. Hiscutt has also said she would oppose efforts to legalise same-sex marriage, which is to be reintroduced to the Legislative Council later this year.

The 15 seats on the Legislative Council, are mainly populated with independents, with one Labor seat, and previously just one Liberal. Thirteen members were unaligned before the elections.

Tasmanian Legislative Council polls see two or three of the seats in the chamber being voted on each year, and Councillors hold their positions for six years.

The final results of the polls will be announced on Sunday.