Liberal Party supporters have begun a new online campaign to pressure Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow Coalition MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage.

The Facebook page — Liberals 4 a Conscience Vote — started last month and claims it wants to return the party to its traditional convention of allowing a free vote on contentious issues.

“We are Liberal Party members and supporters calling for a conscience vote on same-sex marriage,” the Facebook page says.

“The Liberal Party has a long tradition of granting conscience votes and prides itself on giving their MPs more freedom than the Labor Party does.

“Same-sex marriage is the first policy issue on which the Liberal Party has refused to allow MPs a conscience vote when Labor MPs were allowed one.”

So far only 76 people have liked the page.

Recent polls published in the Sunday Herald Sun found 77 percent of Coalition voters supported a conscience vote on the issue.

Pressure continues to mount on the Opposition Leader as party members come out publicly in favour of a conscience vote.

Yesterday, former federal MP and NSW MP Bruce Baird backed former Liberal Premier Nick Greiner on his support for a conscience vote.

Greiner, who has a daughter in a same-sex relationship, said this week it was “bizzare” that a conscience vote was not being granted for Liberal MPs.

“The Liberal Party I’ve been a member of for 40 years is essentially the party of individual freedom, it’s the party that believes in conscience vote,” Greiner said.

Last week, Liberal senators Simon Birmingham and Sue Boyce broke party ranks when they backed a Senate committee report recommending the federal Parliament pass marriage equality legislation.

However, Liberal Senator Gary Humphries wrote a dissenting report on the committee’s findings which was backed by fellow Liberals Eric Abetz and Michaelia Cash.

The creater of the Liberals 4 a Conscience Vote Facebook page declined to comment.


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