The Government’s plans to redefine marriage are the number one issue in MPs’ postbags and most voters oppose any change, a new poll has revealed.
The ComRes survey also revealed that just four per cent of MPs think that implementing same-sex marriage is a key priority for their constituents.
The results come after David Cameron opted to give all Conservative MPs, including ministers, a free vote on the contentious issue.
According to the poll one in three MPs, 34 per cent, cited opposition to same-sex marriage as one of the main issues raised with them over the past two months. This puts it ahead of other issues like welfare reform, 23 per cent, and NHS reform, 19 per cent.
Among Conservative MPs this figure rose to 45 per cent. It fell to 30 per cent for Liberal Democrat MPs and 23 per cent for Labour MPs.
And when MPs were asked to sum up the balance of correspondence which they have received on the issue to date, they revealed that their constituents were overwhelmingly opposed to any change.
74 per cent of MPs said the balance of correspondence was against redefining marriage, with 55 per cent saying it was strongly against.
The ComRes survey was commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage (C4M), a group committed to defending traditional marriage.
Colin Hart, C4M’s campaign director, said: “This poll shows that, right across the Commons, MPs do not regard gay marriage as an important priority.
“It also demonstrates that public opposition to the measure is vociferous and widespread.
“If Ministers decide to press ahead regardless of popular opinion, they will further undermine public confidence in Parliament and reinforce the growing impression that the ruling elite is out of touch with the strongly-held concerns and opinions of the British people.”
Andrew Hawkins, Chief Executive of ComRes said: “Clearly this issue has touched a raw nerve with the public, and not in a positive way.
“It is however entirely in line with public polling which shows that Mr Cameron’s stance on same-sex marriage has already cost the Conservatives some support and could well be responsible for a number of the party’s MPs losing their seats at the next election.”