Cameron wrong to redefine marriage, say councillors

The majority of Conservative councillors believe David Cameron was wrong to pursue legalising same-sex marriage, a poll for the BBC has revealed.

Responding to a survey conducted by ComRes, 60 per cent of councillors said they disagreed with the Prime Minister’s push for gay marriage.

Nearly two-thirds of councillors said that legalising gay marriage did not make the Conservative Party more electable.

Vote loser

The survey also found that 58 per cent of councillors think redefining marriage will cost the party more votes than it gains at the next election.

The survey was commissioned for BBC Sunday Politics and over 1,000 Conservative councillors were polled.

The results are broadly unchanged from those of a similar survey conducted last year.

Decline

Writing for the Daily Mail Online this week, former Tory frontbencher David Davis picked up on why he thinks the party are likely to lose votes.

He said the party has “abandoned traditional Conservative principles and made ourselves less appealing to those who supported us”.

Davis argued that the party should not have focused on “fringe issues” such as gay marriage because it is rarely in voter’s “top five concerns”.

Fringe issues

In July this year, local Tory chiefs warned David Cameron that his introduction of same-sex marriage is causing a decline in Tory membership ahead of the next General Election.

Annual reports for some local associations showed an average drop of ten per cent across constituencies in 2013, at least 15 of which attributed the fall to gay marriage or unhappiness with national decisions.

In Cameron’s own constituency of Witney the number of association members dropped by 170 to 1,083.

Predicted

A survey carried out last year by traditional marriage proponents, Coalition for Marriage, predicted that the Conservatives would lose hundreds of council seats as a result of redefining marriage.

In the last local elections held in May, the Conservative party lost more than 300 county council seats.

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