Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is losing support for a new vote on whether to keep gay marriage laws.

Mr Harper’s Conservative government campaigned on the promise that it would allow Parliament to vote on whether to reopen the issue, but now cabinet members and MPs appear to have lost enthusiasm.

Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn told the Canadian Press, “At this stage, we’ve debated it pretty thoroughly.

“Once you’ve reached the optimum, nobody is really happy, but if it’s the best that you can do, then it’s probably best to just leave it alone.”

Trade Minister David Emerson said: “Candidly, I’m not excited about reopening the issue.

“Even in the last election, when I ran as a Liberal, it was not a big issue that I was confronted with at the doorstep.”

Other politicians said they were still unsure on the issue, Alberta Conservative MP James Rajotte said: “Personally, I have mixed feelings on that I recognise that same-sex marriage has been the law in Canada for some time now, and I also recognise the difficulty in reversing it to the point where traditional marriage is the only legal union in Canada.

“For that reason I would say I’m undecided about it, but I’m thinking seriously about it now.”

Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey said, “I’m reflecting on it, that’s all I can tell you.”

Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl said: “We’ll have to see what the motion looks like and how it’s phrased, I have no idea exactly what it’s going to say so I’ll have to have a look at it.”

Health Minister Tony Clement said: “I’d have to see what the motion read at the time and consult with my constituency.”

Conservative MP, Gerald Keddy, one of only three MP’s from his Party who vote for the original bill said: “At the end of the day Canadians are much more interested in how the federal government is going to tax them, what our stance is on the increasing crime on our streets, what’s the role of the military . . . and not same-gender marriage.”

Mr Harper came to power earlier this year vowing to change the definition of marriage back to that of a union between a man and a woman. The gay marriage law was brought in by the outgoing Liberals.

Both supporters and opponents say any vote would be very tight, especially since he does not control a majority of the 308 seats in the House of Commons.