Emmerdale has been ranked top of the main three soaps for its depiction of gays and lesbians.

Gay charity Stonewall polled more than 1,000 supporters on the issue. Forty-four per cent said Emmerdale was the best, while EastEnders came second on 43 per cent.

Coronation Street came last with 13 per cent of the vote.

Emmerdale was recently nominated for two gongs at the British Soap Awards for the storyline on Aaron Livesy’s struggle to accept his sexuality.

Meanwhile, EastEnders has been gripped by Syed Massood and Christian Clarke’s romance

Coronation Street recently saw its first lesbian storyline with a relationship between schoolgirls Sophie Webster and Sian Power.

Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill said: “We waited years for a decent gay storyline to be written into a soap. Then – in Emmerdale, EastEnders and Coronation Street – three turned up at once.

“We wanted to find out how well gay people felt these storylines reflected their own lives. Stonewall will continue to work with broadcasters to ensure lesbian, gay and bisexual people see the reality of their lives reflected regularly in programming.”

Emmerdale series producer Gavin Blyth said: “From the outset, we always wanted to be very truthful and honest in the story of Aaron’s sexuality and how he as an individual attempted to deny himself. While we obviously recognise this doesn’t mirror the journey of every man and woman, we were aware that it would resonate with very many.

“The enormous positive feedback we have received has proved it to be the case and to be recognised by Stonewall in this way is a huge honour to all involved.”