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Tories could lose up to 1.1 million votes if they redefine marriage

Posted on 30th, April 2012

A ComRes poll published at the weekend shows that the Conservative Party will lose up to 1.1 million votes and up to 30 seats at a general election if it redefines marriage.

The issue plays particularly badly with disaffected Tory voters. Redefining marriage would push former Tory voters away by a ratio of almost 3:1. For every former voter they win back, they lose almost three.

The poll was reported by The Sunday Telegraph, alongside a wide-ranging interview with Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Trevor Kavanagh in today’s edition of The Sun says Tory supporters are “deserting in droves over [David Cameron's] irrelevant campaign for gay marriage”. The poll was also picked up by the Daily Express today.

Also at the weekend, the Mail on Sunday published an article about Tory fears that the party is haemorrhaging votes over the issue. Constituents have reportedly been deluging MPs expressing their opposition to politicians meddling with marriage.

According to the paper, Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin has privately told Tory backbenchers that the plan to redefine marriage will be “kicked into the long grass”. However, the paper also reports: “No  10 sources insisted Mr Cameron remained fully committed to the proposal.”