A new poll has found that 52 per cent of Californian respondents support allowing gay marriage in the state.

Fifty-two per cent of the 1,515 people surveyed agreed that “same-sex couples should be allowed to become legally married in the state of California”, while 40 per cent disagreed.

The research, conducted for the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California, is the latest to show rising support for gay marriage in the state.

In March, a Public Policy Institute poll found that for the first time, more respondents were in favour of gay marriage than against it.

The survey of 2,002 people found 50 per cent for gay marriage and 45 per cent against it.

California has been the most high-profile battleground for same-sex marriage in the US in the last few years.

Gay couples were given the right to marry in 2008 but opponents succeeded in having this struck down at the polls just several months later.

The Supreme Court turned down an appeal by gay rights groups last year, although a trial examining whether the ban was constitutional is currently on hiatus and expected to resume shortly.

All of the 18,000 couples who married in the brief window have been permitted to remain married.