Core Tory support wanes amid gay marriage fiasco

David Cameron risks losing more support from grassroots supporters if he pushes ahead with controversial measures such as gay marriage, local Conservative Party officials have warned.

Last week The Daily Telegraph contacted officials at more than 100 Conservative associations and found widespread dissatisfaction with the Prime Minister.

Many of them accused the Government of failing to embrace a Conservative agenda, and promoting contentious issues such as same-sex marriage and Lords reform.

Lose

They warned that more of the Party’s members will defect to UKIP if the Government fails to adopt more Conservative policies.

When David Cameron became leader, the Conservative Party had 258,000 members but this figure has since fallen to 177,000.

Jenni Mayer, of the West Lancashire Conservative Association, said her association has lost 50 of its 250 members to UKIP.

Oppose

The news comes after research by Lord Ashcroft, a Tory Peer, revealed that a third of those who voted for the Tories at the last general election won’t do so at the next election.

The Westminster Government proposes to redefine marriage in England and Wales before 2015.

However, the proposals have proved highly divisive. Owen Paterson, the Northern Ireland Secretary, became the first Cabinet Minister to openly oppose the plans in May.

Ministers

Other ministers have said that the Government should be focusing on more pressing issues like the economy.

Last month it emerged that over eight million of the Conservative Party’s core supporters are unlikely to back issues such as same-sex marriage.

In March influential Conservative commentator Tim Montgomerie warned that David Cameron’s plan to rewrite the definition of marriage is not a vote winner.

Related Resources