Local Tory chiefs have warned David Cameron that his introduction of same-sex marriage is causing a decline in Tory membership ahead of the next General Election.
Annual reports for some local associations showed an average drop of ten per cent across constituencies in 2013, at least 15 of which attributed the fall to gay marriage or unhappiness with national decisions.
In Chippenham, a marginal seat, the Conservative association said that membership “continued to fall” in 2013, referring to the “ongoing mass exodus over issues such as gay marriage”.
And in the Kenilworth and Southam constituency, the association warned that its members were affected by the same-sex marriage Bill and other national controversies.
In Cameron’s own constituency of Witney the number of association members dropped by 170 to 1,083.
Romford saw more than half of the local party – close to 400 people – leave in the course of a year.
According to the Guardian, sources in the Conservative Party claim their core membership will be roughly stable at more than 134,000 when full-year figures are published later this month.
Membership of the Party has almost halved since 2005.
A poll in October last year showed that almost two thirds of Tory councillors believe redefining marriage will be a vote loser at the next election.
The ComRes survey for BBC Sunday Politics showed that 63 per cent of Conservative councillors believe legalising gay marriage will cost the Party more votes than it gains at the next election.
That is compared with 18 per cent who disagree and say the move is a vote winner.