Current Affairs

Milliband and Cameron beat Brown in race for gay support

PinkNews Staff Writer May 7, 2007
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In a nationwide poll of readers, Tony Blair’s legacy has been praised but Gordon Brown substantially lacks support.

The appointment of Ruth Kelly is considered the biggest stain on Blair’s gay rights legacy.

David Milliband was the most popular choice as the next leader of the Labour Party, with 27 per cent support, 14 per cent ahead of Gordon Brown (13%).

Brown had previously been criticised by for his gay rights voting record.

Alan Johnson was the second most popular Labour politician with 21 per cent support (others 39%).

Out of senior Labour figures, Ruth Kelly was considered by far the worst candidate for the post of Labour leader, with 74 per cent of votes.

Gordon Brown was the second least liked candidate with 11 per cent. 89 per cent of gay Labour voters considered Ms Kelly the worst successor to Blair.

Almost half (48 per cent) of the gay community felt that the appointment of Ruth Kelly as Minster for Equality was the biggest LGBT mistake made by Blair since 1997.

22 per cent criticised the Prime Minister for dithering over religious exemptions of the Equality Act, an equal number highlighted the decision not to introduce full marriage (5% others).

More than half (51 per cent) of the LGBT community considered the introduction of Civil Partnerships as Blair’s strongest legacy.

This was followed by the Equality Act (15 %), Scrapping Section 28 (13%) and equalising the age of consent (13%) (others 3%).

Asked how they would vote if a general election were called on Tuesday, 35 per cent would vote Labour, 27 per cent Liberal Democrats, 26 per cent Conservative, 10 per cent Green and 2 per cent Scottish/ Welsh nationalist.

But given the choice between Brown, Cameron and Campbell; 40 per cent of the community selected Sir Menzies Campbell, 33 per cent David Cameron just 27 per cent Gordon Brown.

Of those too young to vote at the last election, 51 per cent chose David Cameron, 32 per cent Brown and 17 per cent Campbell.

73 per cent of LGBT voters consider that Britain’s attitude to gay rights has changed for the better thanks to Tony Blair and his policy.

21 per cent thought that Britain changed anyway, despite Blair’s policies.

Commenting on the results, Editor, Tony Grew said: “It’s not at all surprising that the appointment of Ruth Kelly is considered a stain on Blair’s gay rights record. We continue to receive more emails and letters on that subject than anything else.”

He added: “But overall, it’s encouraging to see that a majority of the community believe that Britain’s attitude to our community has changed for the better as a result of Tony Blair’s policies.”

Commenting on David Cameron’s popularity, particularly among the younger members of the community, Mr Grew said: “These younger LGBT people we’re not out during the bad old days of the Tory party.

“They now see a metrosexual pro-gay man at the helm of a party that has made a clear decision to engage with our community.”

The poll was open over Saturday and Sunday morning. 534 geographically representative members of the LGBT community took part in the poll.

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