Monday, 4 February 2013

Are We About To See A Lib Dem Wobble On #EqualMarriage?

Tomorrow is the 2nd reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Until today we had only one major concern from the Lib Dem contingent of MPs with regards to voting against the bill and that was Gordon Birtwistle.

Unfortunately today John Pugh has also come out against it, with some statist arguments that he believes to be "liberal" (talk about "cultural communism", having the Government regulate relationships only for its own benefit), and it has raised my concerns as to whether we might see an even larger number vote against.

If we look to Edward Leigh's amendment vote last week as a guide to who we should keep an eye out for in tomorrow's vote we get:

Alan BeithBerwick-upon-TweedLDemaye
Gordon BirtwistleBurnleyLDemaye
John HemmingBirmingham, YardleyLDemaye
Simon HughesBermondsey and Old SouthwarkLDemaye
Charles KennedyRoss, Skye and LochaberLDemaye
Greg MulhollandLeeds North WestLDemaye
John PughSouthportLDemaye

Beith, Hemming, Kennedy and Mulholland are not currently shown on the C4EM support page which is quite worrying. Simon Hughes was relatively supportive when he responded to my Yoosk question two years ago but I've heard whispers he is wavering. To add to this other formerly supportive MPs are showing signs of wavering such as Tim Farron (who lost my confidence a while ago)

Very concerning to see Lib Dem MPs voting against party policy in a free vote (i.e. not whipped like tuition fees) and equally concerning to see that we might actually get a higher percentage against than Labour in a worst case (but possible) scenario.

I hope to be proven wrong.

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