A new survey of Scottish people suggests that almost two in three support equal marriage, with only one in four expressing opposition, PinkNews.co.uk can reveal.

A poll conducted by Ipsos-MORI on behalf of the Equality Network, an advocacy group, reveals that 64% of Scots supported equal marriage, with only 26% remaining opposed.

In addition, the survey finds that 68% believe that religious organisations should be given the right to marry gay couples, if they want to, with only 21% opposed.

This is the first major Scottish survey on equal marriage since 2010.

The poll also found that the support increased significantly among women and younger people (below 55 years of age), with 70% of the former, and 76% of the latter favouring a change in the law.

The news comes just days after a major survey of MSPs found that at least 69 out of the 129 members have pledged support to marriage equality, which meant that, even if introduced as a private members’ bill, the legislation would pass through easily. Three more MSPs have since added their support to the measure.

Findings of this survey have been welcomed by all major political parties in the Scottish Parliament, and from those religious groups that have expressed an interest in performing same-sex ceremonies, such as the Unitarians and Liberal Judaism.

Commenting on the results, Tom French, policy co-ordinator for Equality Network, said: “Scotland has spoken and the message is clear; there is now overwhelming support for equal marriage across the country and in the Scottish Parliament. This record level of support gives the Scottish Government the green light they need to announce legislation that will give lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people full marriage equality, both civil and religious.”

The Scottish government’s consultation on equal marriage received some 50,000 responses, the findings of which are expected to be published later this month.

The SNP is expected to hold a cabinet meeting to discuss findings of the consultation before its official publication.