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Tory Leaders: Equal marriage was ‘not an issue’ in losing the Eastleigh by-election

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  1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Mar 2013, 5:54pm

    Well said, Michael Gove and absolutely correct. Woollard is an idiot. The Tories didn’t win with an outright majority in the 2010 election, barely scraped by and there was NO equal marriage discussion in the run up to that election. I knew they’d start spinning. Glad Gove stepped in.

  2. That There Other David 1 Mar 2013, 6:16pm

    Back when I lived in that part of the world Chandlers Ford in particular was known for its locals’ propensity to swing in the non-political sense. At one point Eastleigh also had the highest divorce rate in the country.

    They are rather live-and-let-live when it comes to personal lives, so I would have been surprised if it had been an issue in the campaign.

  3. Christopher Hobe Morrison 1 Mar 2013, 6:35pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was part of it, along with all the other important issues for real Tory voters, such as bringing back hanging and flogging, fox-hunting with dogs, getting out of the EU and probably the United Nations, getting rid of all the tiresome regulations and taxes on the rich and regulations on the environment, etc. Also they probably think that going back to coal-fired power would put all those working-class people back to work and get rid of handouts, etc. As for marriage let’s restrict it to people we like. Now that we think about it, why not do away with all these tiresome rights for people like Jews, Muslims, and Catholics? Where are we? Oh this is so confusing! I really need to ask Nigel Barrage what to think.

    1. Christopher Hobe Morrison 1 Mar 2013, 6:37pm

      Oh I forgot unions! Troublemakers! Get rid of them!

    2. Your comment is a load of partisan bullshit.

  4. Sister Mary Clarence 1 Mar 2013, 7:02pm

    Actually they may have got a few more votes if Hutchinson had been a bit more ‘modern’ and supported equal marriage

    1. GulliverUK 1 Mar 2013, 7:10pm

      She was just awful. Refused to make any comment at all after the election, and was gagged for the week leading up to it, because she was so awful and every time they she opened her mouth another gaffe came out.

      Grant Shapps said she vet candidates very carefully – and although I like him I think he’s absolutely wrong – they aren’t asking the right questions, and they aren’t teaching their candidates how to put things across sensitively. Given her statements in previous years it’s difficult to know why they chose her at all – she’s damaged goods.

  5. GulliverUK 1 Mar 2013, 7:07pm

    If we were to believe that equal marriage was an issue in Eastleigh, then we’d have to believe that the majority there are bigots and homophobes, against all the credible opinion polls – nobody believes that. It’s nonsense to suggest people locally vote on that issue when they have major issues with unemployment and factories closing locally – it’s the economy stupid !

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Mar 2013, 7:14pm

      I agree, GulliverUK. It is the economy, almost always is in any election. I’d like to see some new Tories voted in just to prove the point that it really isn’t about equal marriage, not that I believe it is for a minute. Notice not one Tory MP in opposition has resigned over it?

      1. GulliverUK 1 Mar 2013, 8:01pm

        Good analysis by Ashcroft (polling and analysing is his thing).
        http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2013/03/lord-ashcroft-heres-why-eastleigh-voted-the-way-it-did.html
        (see chart 5)

        UKIP voters were only really concerned with immigration and human rights (though clearly not in promoting human rights but dismantling legislation).

        Other voters were concerned with the economy, jobs, taxes, NHS, housing + planning, local services, and also some interest in immigration – but nothing like the 55% of UKIP voters who rated it as important.

  6. Now let me get this right. The LibDem candidate who won supported marriage equality. The Tory candidate who lost was against marriage equality. And now they say the reason the Tory candidate lost had to do with marriage equality? It looks like it did all right, but not in the way they think. The Tory candidate lost because she was AGAINST equal rights.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 1 Mar 2013, 10:26pm

      Absolutely, Jay! The point I was trying to make. I wonder how they’ll react if some Tories are elected before 2015?

  7. Craig Denney 2 Mar 2013, 12:02pm

    “Her opposition to equal marriage surfaced last month”

    That’s where it was lost!
    Putting a homophobic and controversial candidate into a Lib-Dem stronghold, they should have picked a more libral candidate?

  8. I thought that traditional conservative values were safe money and freedom of the individual from state interference.

    “Conservative grassroots” seem to have got it wrong somewhere.

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