Redefining marriage is not a vote winner, warns top Tory

David Cameron’s plan to rewrite the definition of marriage is not a vote winner, an influential Conservative commentator has warned.

Tim Montgomerie, the editor of the Conservative Home blog, has made clear that he personally supports redefining the institution.

But he has also warned that the Tories should be prioritising issues such as rising fuel bills and unemployment over its “obsession” with redefining marriage.

Vote

Mr Montgomerie, writing in The Guardian, said: “While I understand the objections of traditionalists, conservatives should want the maximum number of couples to enjoy marriage’s benefits.

“But recognising that gay marriage is a good thing – and that opponents are on the wrong side of history – does not mean it’s a vote winner.

“Public opinion is very divided on broadening the definition of marriage and very few people who are struggling with the electricity bill or fearing unemployment can understand politicians’ obsession with the issue.”

Priority

Earlier this month a poll revealed that the vast majority of the public don’t think same-sex marriage should be a priority for the Government.

An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph showed that 78 per cent oppose proposals to fast-track new homosexual marriage laws ahead of 2015, with just 14 per cent in favour.

The survey also revealed that 50 per cent of Tory voters “oppose same-sex marriage in principle”, with only 35 per cent backing the move.

Rewriting

The Westminster Government published a consultation on redefining marriage last week, but critics branded it a “sham” which will ignore opposition.

The consultation asks the public if they “agree or disagree” with rewriting the definition of marriage.

However, it also makes clear that it is a matter of how, not whether, the contentious change will be introduced.

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