Conservative voters are more likely to oppose same-sex kisses on TV soaps, although they prefer lesbian clinches to gay male ones, a poll says.

YouGov surveyed 2,206 people about their views on same-kisses and their voting habits.

The poll, first reported by PoliticsHome, found that while 53 per cent of those who voted Tory last year said heterosexual kisses should be allowed before the 9pm watershed, only 20 per cent said the same for gay men kissing.

But 26 per cent said lesbian kisses should be permitted before 9pm. In contrast, Liberal Democrat voters were more likely to back gay male kisses over lesbian ones.

Respondents were given four nearly identical scenarios and asked whether the scenes should be shown before 9pm, after 9pm or not at all.

All concerned scenes from soaps in which couples were lying in bed with sheets up to the men’s waists and women’s necks. The only difference was the sexual orientation or marital status of the couples.

The figures show that while Tory voters were only slightly less likely to oppose unmarried kissing as opposed to married, they were far more likely than Labour or Liberal Democrat voters to oppose same-sex kisses.

Sixty per cent of those who voted Liberal Democrat last year said gay male kissing should be shown before the watershed although, conversely, only 44 per cent said the same for lesbian kisses.

Overall, 58 per cent said straight married kisses were acceptable before the watershed, 56 per cent said the same for unmarried straight kisses, 36 per cent agreed for lesbian kisses and 37 per cent agreed for gay male kisses.

Overall, support for pre-watershed same-sex kisses declined with age.

Five per cent of the total said that heterosexual married kisses should not be broadcast at any time.