Plans to allow the creation of three-parent babies are set to cost the Conservative Party votes at the upcoming European elections, a new poll has found.
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of those surveyed said they are less likely to vote Tory because of the proposals, whereas just three per cent are more inclined to back the Party over the issue.
Parliament is to debate allowing the controversial technique – which uses IVF to create a baby with DNA from three parents – later this year.
Last month, the Department of Health launched a consultation on draft regulations on the detail of the procedure, which aims to prevent mothers passing on mitochondrial disease to their children.
The ComRes poll, commissioned by The Christian Institute, found that the proposed creation of three-parent embryos is a vote-loser across all age groups. Amongst the over 65s, more than a third said it would make them less likely to support the Conservative Party.
Of those who voted Tory in 2010, close to a third said they were less likely to do the same in the European elections over the issue.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said the poll revealed a lack of support for the technique, and said: “There has been completely inadequate public debate”.
He warned that, “there are real safety fears. This is about producing genetically modified babies with altered DNA which will be passed down to future generations. No one knows what the consequences will be.”
Mr Hart also commented that this could be seen as a “state backed policy of eugenics” and said a “serious debate” needs to take place about the message it sends out to disabled people.
MPs also raised serious concerns about the technique during a recent Westminster Hall debate.
Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said the procedure would result in “genetically modified children” and “ends up being a multi-generational experiment with the lives of people”.
It is a “fundamentally dangerous road to start down” because in the future scientists will eventually work out “how to ensure that babies have blue eyes and blonde hair, or whatever people want”, Mr Rees-Mogg warned.
He explained that the procedure is based on the premise that the one in 200 children born every year in the UK who have some kind of mitochondrial disorder are “born imperfect and that in future only perfect people should be born”.
The Department of Health consultation on the technique closes on 21 May.