A new poll for PinkNews.co.uk has found that LGBT voters are most wary of UKIP, the Eurospectic, anti-same sex marriage party that looks on course to win the European election in 2014.
The poll also shown a rise in support for both Labour and the Conservative party since 2010 at the expense of the Liberal Democrats.
In the run-up to Christmas PinkNews conducted two polls, a self selecting poll of 945 PinkNews readers and a separate poll of 724 LGBT voters who have been tracked since the 2010 general election.
The PinkNews panel found that support for the Conservative Party among the gay community has risen from 11% during the 2010 general election to 30% if the election was held tomorrow. Liberal Democrat support has declined from 38% in 2010 to 14% today, while support for Labour has risen from 26% in 2010 to 38% in 2013. Among the self selecting poll of PinkNews readers, 19% said they voted Conservative in 2010, while 32% said that they would vote Conservative in 2013.
However, David Cameron’s personal support among the gay community is stronger than support for his party. 46% of gay voters said that they would prefer him to be Prime Minister, compared to 37% who support Ed Miliband and 17% who said Nick Clegg.
Nigel Farage was named the least respected leader when it comes to gay voters, with 81% of panel members saying that they respected him less than any other political leader. UKIP, which is on course to win next year’s European elections, is the most feared political party in the UK, with 60% of LGBT voters stating that they are “concerned or worried” about the party’s impact on LGBT rights, compared to just 22% who named the British National Party.
Aside from the BNP, which is waning in support and looks certain to lose seats at the European elections, UKIP is the only mainstream national political party to oppose same-sex marriage as official party policy.
The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales will be conducted just over a year before the next general election. Therefore, UKIP could fight the 2015 election with a policy to disregard or overturn the marriages of same-sex couples who marry next year. As yet, UKIP has not confirmed that it will withdraw its opposition to same-sex marriage equality in England and Wales.
PinkNews publisher Benjamin Cohen said: “There is a significant fear among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community caused by the rise of UKIP, the largest mainstream party to oppose gay equality as an official policy. It would seem incredible for UKIP to fight the 2015 election with a policy to take away the right to marry from millions of gay people, but unless it changes its policies and public pronouncements, that is exactly what it is on course to do.”
UKIP says that it supports civil partnerships for same-sex couples but was opposed to the introduction of same-sex marriage by the Coalition government with the strong support of the opposition Labour party.
Earlier this year, Mr Farage said that same-sex marriage was “profoundly illiberal” because of the “power of the European Court of Human Rights.”
The UKIP leader added: “There is a very real legal risk that you could finish up with faith communities being forced to conduct such ceremonies which would be illiberal because it would stop people pursuing some of their own beliefs”.
The former chairman of Oxford UKIP, Dr Julia Gasper, a candidate in the 2012 local elections, wrote that gay people needed to stop “complaining about persecution” and start expressing “gratitude” to straight people, on whom they are reliant to be born.