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Exclusive: Gordon Brown tells gay voters that support for Lib Dems will lead to a Tory victory

Jessica Geen May 5, 2010
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Prime minister Gordon Brown has told that gay people should “fear” the Tories and that voting for the Liberal Democrats will make a Tory government more likely.

In one of his last interviews before the polls open tomorrow, he also attacked David Cameron for refusing to sack candidates who have been criticised for their remarks on homosexuality, such as shadow defence secretary Julian Lewis, who said the age of consent should have not have been equalised.

In answer to a question from a reader who asked why he should support Labour over the Liberal Democrats, Mr Brown dismissed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s promises.

Of the three main party leaders, Mr Clegg has arguably offered the most gay-friendly election promises and polls suggest his party has the most support from the gay community.

But Mr Brown pointed to his own party’s achievements in the area, listing civil partnerships, gay adoption and lesbian fertility rights as some of the advances.

The Labour Party has been in confusion for several days about the issue of tactical voting, with schools secretary Ed Balls saying that although he always wanted Labour to win, Labour supporters could vote Liberal Democrats in Liberal Democrats/Tory marginal seats.

However, Mr Brown and former prime minister Tony Blair have urged Labour supporters not to engage in tactical voting.

Mr Brown also claimed that gay people should “fear” a Tory government.

He said: “I think Labour have both a record and future offer that we can be proud of, and the one thing we should all fear is a return to the Tory days.

“And the reality is, a vote for the Liberal Democrats just makes a Tory government more likely.”

Mr Brown answered questions from readers today on issues such as homophobic bullying, gay marriage and sex education in schools.

Unlike Mr Clegg, he would not give his support for full gay marriage, instead telling readers that the provision of marriage is “intimately bound up with questions of religious freedom”.

Instead, he said that there was “no practical difference” between the two, but the difference allows recognition that religions have “the right to a certain degree of self-organisation on questions that are theologically important to them”.

Yesterday, a poll of LGBT readers found that support for the Tories had dropped to below that of the Green Party.

It placed the Liberal Democrats on 57 per cent, Labour on 29 per cent, the Green Party on ten per cent and the Conservative Party on six per cent.

These results are markedly different from polls of the general population, where the Conservative Party has remained in first place for weeks.

A ComRes poll taken last night put the Conservatives on 37 per cent, Labour on 29 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 26 per cent.

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll for The Sun found the Tories on 35 per cent, Labour on 30 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 24 per cent.

Related topics: General Election 2010

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