Pro Fox Hunting candidates are a turn off for half of all voters, claims a new poll.
According to the research by Survation, 67 per cent of voters do not want to see the bloodsport legalised again in Britain.
The poll - which shows only three per cent of voters are 'much more likely' to vote for pro-hunt candidates - follows Prime Minister Theresa May's pledge to hold a free vote on the issue in Parliament if the Conservatives win the upcoming General Election on June 8.
The PM said she has 'always personally been in favour' of bloodsports' and her manifesto says: “We will grant a free vote, on a government bill in government time, to give Parliament the opportunity to decide the future of the Hunting Act.”
Hunting (which includes deer and hares, as well as foxes) is a hugely contentious issue, splitting opinion like few other topics - with the vast majority of the public opposing the controversial method of killing animals.
This week saw thousands take to the streets as part of the Make Hunting History March to protest May's pledge to use Parliamentary time to re-open the hunting issue. The poll results reflect this anti-hunting sentiment, with half of all voters saying they are 'less likely' to vote for candidates who want to make fox hunting legal once more while a further third – or 27 per cent - saying they are 'much less likely' to support such a candidate in the ballor box.
Eduardo Gonclaves, the chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The numbers speak for themselves. Hunting has become one of the big issues in this election, and it is now clear that it is an extremely toxic one for any pro-hunt candidate.
“Looking at these figures, those candidates might just find themselves on the losing end on election night.
“This is an issue the public feel very passionate about and, as today’s polling indicates, it can and will swing votes in many of the constituencies that will ultimately decide this election.
"Fox hunting has been made an election issue in a way that has never happened before, and as a result many marginal seats are potentially back in play.”