With new rural MPs, hunting bodies are hoping for a repeal.

Hunting organisations are gearing up to push the Government to stick to its manifesto promise of a free vote on repeal of the Hunting Act (2004). The same pledge was part of the Conservatives’ 2010 manifesto, and David Cameron had declared his support of a hunting ban repeal , but the vote was deemed too close to call.

Now, hunting bodies believe the numbers stack up, with new swathes of rural Tory MPs and several prominent campaigners, including the Tories’ Simon Hart and Labour’s Kate Hoey, enjoying vastly increased majorities. Scotland has separate hunting laws to England and Wales and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has pledged that her party would not vote on this issue.

‘The election result has provided an unexpected opportunity and we will be discussing various options that would fulfil the Conservatives’ manifesto commitment,’ comments Tim Bonner, campaigns director for the Countryside Alliance.

Polling by YouGov conducted in January this year found that 51% of the population supported the current fox hunting ban, with only 33% opposed to it.