The recent Pink News poll shows that David Cameron's recent Gay Times interview and Chris Graylings comments about bed & breakfast owners having the right to turn away gay customers are having an effect on the views of LGBT voters.
The Conservative record on supporting gay rights is nothing short of shameful. David Cameron cannot pretend a quick apology for Section 28 will make up for the entrenched and often bigoted views of his hand-picked frontbench colleagues in the House of Commons.
David Cameron and the Conservatives like to pretend that they have changed but they remain the same old Tories.
The Liberal Democrats are now the most popular political party among the LGBT community.
Last month, 25% of the LGBT community said that they would vote Conservative at the upcoming general election, 25% said they'd back the Liberal Democrats and 28% said they'd vote Labour.
However, this month, just a day before a general election is expected to be called, counting only the votes of those that had taken part in the March poll, 20% of the LGBT community have said that they will back the Conservatives, a fall of 5%. Support for Labour remains unchanged at 28%, while support for the Liberal Democrats has increased by 5% to 29%.
The Conservatives still remain the most popular party among those aged 23 and under, but at 35% this month, this is 5% down on our poll a month ago. 32% of those too young to vote at the last election said they would vote Liberal Democrat and just 13% said they'd vote Labour.
Labour's record over the last thirteen years has not convinced that particular group.
PinkNews.co.uk found that 30% of LGBT people felt less favourably of Mr Cameron following an interview broadcast on Channel 4 News, where Mr Cameron was unable to answer questions about votes in the European parliament and the decision to give MPs and peers a free vote issues relating to gay rights.Last month, 25% of Pink News readers said they'd like to see David Cameron become Prime Minister, ahead of Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg. This month, just 20% of our readers backed David Cameron, 29% backed Gordon Brown and 28% backed Nick Clegg. An increase of 5% for both Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg.
57% of respondents said that the economy is the most important policy issue they will consider when casting their vote, 16% LGBT rights, 9% healthcare, 6% education, 5% foreign policy, 4% immigration and 2% crime.
The PinkNews.co.uk poll had already begun prior to The Observers story of comments by the Conservative MP Chris Grayling where he backed the rights of bed and breakfast owners to ban gay couples.
But the swing from Conservative to Liberal Democrat did increase markedly in the early hours of Sunday.
The voting records of current Conservative MPs who are standing in the coming general election show that:
- One in six, voted in favour of Section 28 in 1988. A sixth voted against its repeal in 2003 including David Cameron and a third of the Shadow Cabinet
- One in ten voted against dropping the age of consent for gay men from 21 to 18 in 1994
- Almost one in five, voted against the Sexual Offences Amendment Bill in 1999 which aimed to reduce the age at which anal sex was legal from 18 to 16
- One in three voted to allow only heterosexual, married couples to adopt in 2002 including seven members of the Shadow Cabinet
- One in three voted against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in March 2007 which allows the Secretary of State to make regulations defining discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation. This included thirty-three, or a third of frontbenchers and four of the Shadow Cabinet
- The Conservative Party opposed The Equality Bill 2008-09. Nineteen members of the Shadow Cabinet joined attempts to block the bill which will introduce a single 'public duty' requiring all publicly-funded bodies to pro-actively promote equality across the board and remove barriers to fair service provision
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