Most Conservative MPs doubt whether David Cameron’s controversial plan to redefine marriage will succeed, a new survey has revealed.
The survey, conducted by ComRes, found that 37 per cent of Conservative MPs believe the contentious proposal is doomed to failure.
A further 22 per cent of Tory MPs said that they were unsure about the proposal’s success.
The all-party poll also revealed that 60 per cent of MPs did not think that gay marriage was of “significant importance” to their constituents.
David Burrowes MP, who is opposed to the redefinition of marriage, said that the strength of opposition in some quarters appeared to have taken ministers by surprise.
“I think this fairly reflects the fact that there is a significant number of Members of Parliament, particularly Conservative Members of Parliament, who are concerned about whether we should legislate on marriage,” he said.
“That is partly a reflection that there is deep concern from the constituencies.”
The survey of 154 MPs also revealed that just over two thirds of Labour MPs and 95 per cent of Liberal Democrats believe the proposal will succeed.
The survey was commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage, a group campaigning to protect the traditional definition of marriage.
Colin Hart, the group’s campaign director, said: “The results of these polls show that Conservative MPs increasingly think that attempts by the Government to redefine marriage without any electoral mandate are looking uncertain and could well fail.
“Set against the context of growing opposition to the proposals in the country, they suggest that David Cameron is heading for a painful and deeply damaging defeat.”
The Westminster Government launched a three-month consultation on rewriting the definition of marriage on March 15.
Last month a former chairman of the Conservative Party said that Mr Cameron’s plans for same-sex marriage are ill-considered and will not win him the next election.
Lord Tebbit said: “I doubt if Mr Cameron’s new-found enthusiasm for ‘gay marriage’ will make it any more likely that he will lead the Conservative Party to a majority in 2015 or add greatly to the sum total of happiness and contentment in our society.”