Nick Clegg’s jibe towards traditional marriage supporters last week was “tantamount to bullying”, according to a new poll.
The survey follows the furore over the use of the word “bigots” in a draft speech due to be given by Mr Clegg to describe those who are against redefining marriage. The word was later removed.
According to the survey 55 per cent thought the use of the word “bigots” was wrong and only 24 per cent thought it was right.
The poll, of over 2,000 people, also found that six in ten voters did not think the gaffe had helped the Liberal Democrats electorally, with only 13 per cent saying it had.
It also found that 50 per cent of people believed describing someone as a “bigot” because they disagreed with your views about same-sex marriage was like bullying. In contrast 35 per cent disagreed, while 16 per cent said they did not know.
And the survey also showed that a majority of voters do not back the Government’s plans to redefine marriage.
Coalition for Marriage commissioned the poll, and its Campaign Director – Colin Hart – described the “bigots” comment as “deeply offensive”.
Mr Hart added that it “confirms the view that Nick Clegg is out of touch with ordinary people”.
He continued: “Polling consistently shows that Nick Clegg and those trying to rip up the current definition of marriage are losing the argument.
“A majority of people oppose redefining marriage and realise that it can’t be done at the stroke of a pen.
“There is also a growing understanding of the consequences that the Government’s plans will have on the lives of ordinary people, on those who back traditional marriage. This includes possibly ending up in court and losing their jobs.
“Mr Clegg has badly damaged his reputation by throwing around this cheap insult.
“We urge him to try to answer our questions and genuine concerns over his plans. And in the meantime he should focus on what he was elected to do, fix our country’s broken economy.”