Many Conservatives who could become MPs at the next election want to see the upper time limit for abortion cut and married couples given tax breaks, a new survey shows.
The Guardian newspaper conducted the survey to explore the views of 66 Conservative candidates for key target seats.
Eighty-five per cent said they agreed with the statement: “The tax system should be reformed to recognise and promote marriage” with only ten per cent agreeing with the statement: “The tax system should help parents regardless of their marital status.”
Mr Cameron has said that any tax break for married couples introduced by the Conservative Party will also apply to same-sex couples in civil partnerships.
The survey also showed that more than 83 per cent of the candidates said they wanted to see a reduction in the upper limit on abortion. 61 per cent specified they would like to see it cut to 22 weeks, or by an unspecified amount.
When abortion law was considered in the House of Commons earlier this year, Conservative Party leader David Cameron voted to reduce the upper limit to 20 weeks.
However, he has expressed his support for early medical (drug-induced) abortion and for abortion on grounds of disability up until birth.
Other senior members of the party have also expressed liberal moral views on issues such as IVF, gay adoption and civil partnerships.
In an interview with The Guardian, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne described himself as a “social liberal” who “didn’t think there was a good case for saying that a single parent or a lesbian couple should be denied [IVF] treatment.”
He added: “I think one of the big changes in the Conservative party actually has been moving the party away from its rather antediluvian positions on some things like section 28.”
Earlier this year, Conservative education spokesman Michael Gove MP was criticised for claiming that the Conservatives had been wrong in the past to oppose ‘gay rights’ measures like homosexual adoption.
He said that “the demand for civil partnerships, proper inheritance rights and equality in adoption rights from gay couples is not a rejection of commitment but a desire to see commitment celebrated and publicly embraced. It is right and moral.”