David Cameron's leadership came under further pressure as 133 Conservative MPs voted against gay marriage and the British Prime Minister was warned the proposal would now run into fierce opposition in the House of Lords.
After two weeks of damaging Tory infighting, senior party sources said Cameron could face a vote of confidence in an attempt to oust him as leader before the 2015 general election. Forty-six Tory MPs would be needed to trigger a vote of confidence.
After Commons rebellions over Europe and gay marriage, and claims an ally called Tory activists "mad, swivel-eyed loons", Cameron is desperate to draw a line under this difficult period.
The bill to legalise gay marriage passed the House of Commons yesterday, given a third reading by 366 votes to 161 in a free vote. Now Tory opponents are pinning their hopes on the bill suffering a mauling in the House of Lords. "It is only half-time," one said.