Monday, 6 May 2013

Tories Are Just Looking For An Excuse To Drop Same-Sex Marriage Bill

The media is reporting today the suggestions Tory MPs have for fighting back against the "UKIP surge". They still aren't even in Parliament but Tory MPs spook easily it would seem.
Peter Bone, the Wellingborough MP, said Mr Cameron should halt the gay marriage Bill, currently going through Parliament, and cut overseas aid. "Those are things that Conservatives want and that's what Ukip voters want."
UKIP voters want to halt the same-sex marriage Bill? Really? Let us look at the evidence. The Coalition for Marriage, understandably, likes to terrify the jumpy Tory traditionalists with its tales of doom for any who support marriage equality. They crow about how the same-sex marriage Bill is causing people to leave in droves. Yet their own survey shows only 26% of 2010 Tory voters would be less likely to vote for them because of this issue. That is less likely not "completely unlikely" and that percentage is not even all those Tory voters who oppose same-sex marriage (last year half of all 2010 Tory voters were stated as opposing it).

C4M likes to draw conclusions that because this many say this and this many say that there is some link between same-sex marriage and the Conservatives current woes.

However in a YouGov survey this week, where potential 2015 UKIP voters were asked to mark up to 3 issues as their top reasons for supporting UKIP, only 12% of those surveyed marked opposition to gay marriage as a reason.

Even the more open, but possibly related, reason "Ukip reflect personal values and beliefs" only got 20%. By far and away the top reasons for voting for UKIP were immigration and the EU (no surprise there then). As many Tories like to say: the public don't care about equal marriage. 

The equal marriage bill is something that will benefit few people but, when asked, a majority support the legalisation of same-sex marriage. For all C4M and the right-wing Tory carping, it is a non-issue and even if UKIP had an equal number of MPs to what the Lib Dems have at the moment there'd still be no reason to suggest this marked a complete rejection by the electorate of this policy. 

The Tories are projecting their desperation to vote down equal marriage on to an electorate who have quite different priorities. Showing just how out of touch they really are and perhaps that explains the rise of UKIP more than any one policy. 


Anonymous said...

"They still aren't even in Parliament but Tory MPs spook easily it would seem."

To be fair, UKIP don't need to stand any chance of getting into parliament to damage the Tories severely. The Tories were in power for 16 years after the Lab/SDP split, despite the fact that there were never more than 8 MPs who had been elected as SDP candidates.

Jae Kay said...

That analysis holds true... to a point. A great deal of SDP support also came from Tories who couldn't stomach Margaret Thatcher and as a protest against Labour's lurch away from the centre ground. UKIP isn't going to attract any centrists...