The Scottish National Party’s plans to redefine marriage have already cost it votes, one of the party’s former leaders has warned.
Gordon Wilson says the SNP would have done better in May’s local elections if Roman Catholics, Muslims and older voters had not been put off by the proposals.
Mr Wilson, who led the party from 1979 to 1990, said: “I personally believe the SNP would have gained another two wards in Glasgow if it were not for the plans.”
A public consultation on the issue generated 77,000 responses – more than two to one of which are reported to be against redefining marriage.
The SNP-led Scottish Government is currently considering the responses and is expected to announce its decision after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Mr Wilson has previously warned that the Scottish Government could “alienate people from voting for independence” if it pushes for same-sex marriage against public opinion.
Earlier this week new polling by ComRes revealed that most people in Scotland want marriage to stay between a man and a woman.
A majority (55 per cent) agreed that “marriage should continue to be defined as a life-long exclusive commitment between a man and a woman”. Only 38 per cent disagreed.
And half of all Scots said the matter should be decided by referendum, only 39 per cent wanted to leave it to MSPs. Support for a referendum is even higher amongst young people.