Gender Split Over Support For WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, YouGov Poll Shows

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.

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.