David Cameron is losing the support of voters and grassroots members over controversial issues like same-sex marriage, according to new research.
One poll, from Tory Peer Lord Ashcroft, showed only 29 per cent of voters believe the Conservatives will win the next election, compared with 32 per cent in January.
He said the poll showed “the price we have paid for spending half a year talking amongst ourselves” – on issues like same-sex marriage.
Lord Ashcroft’s survey shows the issue is a vote loser, with a net loss of support for a party that legalises gay marriage.
The poll also showed that Mr Cameron is perceived as being out of touch and not listening.
And an ITV News survey revealed that nearly three quarters of local Conservative associations have lost members, with over half of them saying it is because of gay marriage.
In Lord Ashcroft’s survey, only 28 per cent of people said the Conservatives are a “united party”.
The poll also showed 37 per cent would vote for Labour if there was a General Election tomorrow – compared to 27 per cent for the Tories.
Lord Ashcroft remarked that this was “not much of a score for an opposition party”, two years ahead of a General Election.
He added: “Indeed UKIP is the only party with momentum on its side, with more voters saying they are moving towards it than away from it.”
UKIP’s party policy is to oppose same-sex marriage, while the other major parties support it.
According to the ITV survey, analysis of local Conservative associations showed 73 per cent have lost members – 51 per cent of which said it was because of gay marriage.
The news comes as the Government’s same-sex marriage Bill, which has been described as “ill-thought through” and “fatally flawed”, passed its first hurdle in the House of Lords.
Following the vote, Colin Hart, campaign director for the Coalition for Marriage, said: “The House of Lords has decided to allow the same-sex marriage Bill to progress to the next stage.
“But many Peers said they were doing so because they wanted to take a closer look at the Bill before deciding whether to vote against it at a later stage. The Bill must overcome other votes in the Lords, so it’s not over yet.”