British women think Ecuador is wrong to shelter Julian Assange, with men more sympathetic to the WikiLeaks founder, new research has shown.

But most voters in the UK believe Assange would receive a fair trial were he to return to Sweden. He is wanted for questioning on allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The gender divide is clear - 31% of men think Ecuador was right to grant the campaigner diplomatic asylum, compared to 16% of women, according to YouGov's poll for the Sunday Times.

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Supporters of Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian Embassy

But, in total, 60% of Brits believe Ecuador was wrong to let him stay in their London embassy.

By two-to-one, Britons think he would receive a fair trial in Sweden if his extradition went ahead.

And the survey found British people have far more trust in the Swedish judicial system than if Assange were extradited to America.

If Assange was tried for his WikiLeaks activities in the US, which the country has not requested, more than half of British people surveyed thought he would not receive a fair trial.

The poll showed that although public opinion is against Assange remaining in the Ecaudorian embassy, Brits are cautious about the government or police acting to arrest Assange.

Just 33% think they should use the little-known law, that resurfaced last week, that gives the police the legal right to enter the embassy to arrest Mr Assange. 54% think Britain should "respect the traditional convention and NOT enter the embassy".

Even if Assange were to leave the embassy, smuggled in a bag or diplomatic car, to board a plane to Ecuador, 38% think that to attempt arrest him en route would be ‘an improper violation of diplomatic convention’.

Liberal Democrat voters are the biggest supporters of Assange, compared with Labour and Conservative voters, with 31% backing Ecuador's granting of asylum.

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  • Julian Assange extradition

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (left) talks with his legal adviser Balthasar Garcon (2nd right, partially obscured) inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    File photo dated 02/11/11 of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who has been inside London's Ecuador Embassy for two months today.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    A pro-Julian Assange placard is seen outside the Embassy of Ecuador, in Knightsbridge, central London, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is claiming asylum in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    Police officers outside the Embassy of Ecuador, in Knightsbridge, central London, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is claiming asylum in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden

  • Julian Assange extradition

    A protester stands outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, as Julian Assange spent his first full day inside since being granted political asylum by the South American countryÕs government.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    Supporters of Julian Assange are seen outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, as Assange spent his first full day inside since being granted political asylum by the South American countryÕs government.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    A masked supporter of Julian Assange outside the Embassy of Ecuador in Knightsbridge, central London, as the diplomatic row between the UK and Ecuador over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange deepened after the Foreign Office said the Government would seek to extradite him even if he is granted political asylum by the South American nation.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    Police officers outside the Embassy of Ecuador in Knightsbridge, central London, as the diplomatic row between the UK and Ecuador over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange deepened.

  • Julian Assange extradition

    Police officers enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London, as Julian Assange spent his first full day inside since being granted political asylum by the South American country's government.

  • BRITAIN-ECUADOR-SWEDEN-DIPLOMACY-JUSTICE-WIKILEAKS

    Police officers look at a man as he adjusts a balcony door stand at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on August 19, 2012.

  • BRITAIN-ECUADOR-SWEDEN-DIPLOMACY-JUSTICE-WIKILEAKS

    Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hold placards as they demonstrate outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on August 19, 2012.

  • BRITAIN-ECUADOR-SWEDEN-DIPLOMACY-JUSTICE-WIKILEAKS

    Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hold placards as they demonstrate outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on August 19, 2012.