Exclusive: Cameron and Grayling gay gaffes cause Conservative popularity among LGBT community to plunge
A poll conducted by Europe’s largest gay news publication, PinkNews.co.uk has found that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) support for the Conservative party has fallen markedly following an interview where party leader David Cameron appeared to falter when questioned about gay rights. The Liberal Democrats are now by a margin of just 1%, 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, the same percentage said they’d back the Liberal Democrats and 28% said they’d vote Labour.
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 Greens are down 1% at 18%. Last June, prior to an alliance with anti-gay parties within the European Parliament, the Conservative party enjoyed the support of almost 40% of our readers.
The Conservatives remain the most popular party among those aged 23 and under, but at 35% 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 13% said they’d vote Labour.
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 our readers said they’d like to see Mr Cameron become prime minister, ahead of Mr Brown and Mr Clegg. This month, just 20% of our readers backed Mr Cameron, 29% Mr Brown and 28% Mr Clegg. An increase of 5% for both Mr Brown and Mr 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 publication by The Observer of comments by the shadow home secretary Chris Grayling where he appeared to back 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.
1,193 people who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans took part in a self selecting online survey between midnight April 3rd and midday on April 4th. Only the results of 932 people who had voted in our March poll were included in the results for political party and of choice of prime minister displayed above. The original poll was weighted demographically to reflect the spread of the LGBT community.
More: General Election 2010