The anti-equality group, Coalition for Marriage (C4M), has once again teamed up with ComRes to release a new poll, which claims that a majority of the voters are opposed to equal marriage.
First reported by the Sunday Telegraph, which, with its sister publication has consistently campaigned against the measure, a cross-party poll of MPs suggests that only one in 25 parliamentarians believe that equal marriage is a main priority for voters.
Only one in three MPs (34%) cited it as a main concern raised with them by voters, putting it ahead of welfare reform (23%), NHS reform (19%), pensions (13%) and fuel prices (13%), among others.
Asked how voters felt about the issue, the polled MPs suggest that their constituents, insofar as they got in touch with them, were strongly (19%) or very strongly (55%) opposed to the measure. Only 16% of voters who were in touch with their MPs supported the plans.
Among the various political parties, it is Tories who get the heaviest flak from their constituents on the issue, roughly 45%, with the number dropping to 30% for Lib Dems and 23% for Labour MPs.
Previously, Catholic Voices, which supports C4M, had teamed up with ComRes to release other polls which suggested that up to 70% of British voters were opposed to equality in marriage, findings which have subsequently been undermined by methodological flaws and ideological bias. Indeed, every other poll, including one by the Daily Telegraph, shows the opposite to be the case. Another poll commissioned by and through C4M/ComRes found that more than half of the MPs, presumably from the same sample as today’s, found that the plans for equal marriage will proceed as planned.
While Labour and Lib Dems strongly support equal marriage, Conservatives appear divided on the issue, especially the more right-wing factions of the party. Senior ministers, such as Owen Paterson and Philip Hammond have said they want the issue ditched, and the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith is reportedly set to join them.
However, senior cabinet ministers, including Home Secretary Theresa May, and David Cameron’s aide, Desmond Swayne, have recorded messages of support for the bourgeoning Out4Marriage campaign, which pushes for marriage equality.
Colin Hart, Campaign Director of C4M, told the Sunday Telegraph: “This poll shows that, right across the Commons, MPs do not regard gay marriage as an important priority… It also demonstrates that public opposition to the measure is vociferous and widespread.”
Andrew Hawkins, Chief Executive of ComRes, also spoke to the newspaper, saying: “It is however entirely in line with public polling which shows that Mr Cameron’s stance on same-sex marriage has already cost the Conservatives some support and could well be responsible for a number of the party’s MPs losing their seats at the next election.”
The findings of today’s poll have not yet been released to the public for further methodological analyses.