It’s being reported by an Australian broadcaster that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was tempted to drop her opposition to equal marriage during her time in office.

Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) alleges that prior to being ousted as the country’s leader, Ms Gillard had considered reversing her opposition to equal marriage.

When securing support from the influential conservative trade union, the Shop Distributive and Allied Association, Ms Gillard stressed she would not support attempts by Australian lawmakers to introduce marriage equality.

However, with Ms Gillard increasingly at odds with her Labor Party on the issue, and the party’s plunging support among Australian voters, SBS reports Labor sources as suggesting that she believed there was no longer any point in upholding opposition to the reform.

Nevertheless, Ms Gillard left office in June 2013 remaining opposed to marriage equality – and despite SBS’ revelations – there has been no public change in the former PM’s position.

Ms Gillard ruled out introducing equal marriage in May following neighbouring New Zealand’s decision to legalise the measure.

Her successor, Kevin Rudd, announced his support for equal marriage in the same month, having previously been against it.

In April, Australia’s Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott said he opposed proposals to hold a public vote on equal marriage during September’s election.

Efforts to legalise the measure failed in the Australian Parliament last year.

During a televised debate with Mr Abbott at the weekend, Kevin Rudd pledged to allow a full conscience vote on equal marriage within 100 days – if he wins September’s election.