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Gay Tory Vice Chair Mike Freer could lose his seat to Labour, poll suggests

Nick Duffy April 16, 2015

A poll has suggested that Tory Vice Chair Mike Freer is under threat of losing his seat to Labour.

Mr Freer, one of the most senior openly gay Conservative MPs, has been the MP for Finchley and Golders Green since 2010.

However, Mr Freer – who is one of his party’s strongest proponents of LGBT rights – was shown to be under threat from Labour party candidate Sarah Sackman by a poll this week.

A constituency poll released by Lord Ashcroft put Labour on 43 points, and the Tories on 41.

The minor parties were trailing, with the Lib Dems and UKIP on six points, and the Green Party on four.

The seat – which encompasses most of the former Finchley constituency once held by Margaret Thatcher – was previously held by Labour MP Rudi Vis from 1997 until 2010.

However, the area has a large Jewish population – and Mr Freer says the polling may have been skewed because it coincided with Passover.

He told PinkNews: “I think the difficulty is polls can go all over the place.

“If you look at the dates the polling was done, clearly there’s a problem when you have such a large Jewish community, and also with school holidays.

“When you look at the raw data, it didn’t really reflect the 2010 vote – so that raises a few questions.

Mr Freer added: “What it does reflect is the tightening of the race. Labour have flooded the area and are making a big push, and I think that shows.”

He told the Telegraph: “Many people will have gone away for Passover or will be observing Passover so that’s a factor that needs to be borne in mind.

“Miliband and Labour are not popular amongst the Jewish community so when you have constituency that’s 22 per cent Jewish, to be telephoning and polling on Friday and Saturday of Passover would be a bit of a faux pas.

“They wouldn’t be answering the phone, they may not even be here; many people will travel or they are very observant. The 9th and 10th especially are the two high holy days.

“I think that needs a little pinch of salt.”

Mr Freer and his partner Angelo Crolla converted their civil partnership to a marriage in January.

He is a strong proponent of gay rights within the party – speaking out strongly in favour of same-sex marriage.

 

More: Conservative, constituency, Gay, LGBT, London, Mike Freer, poll, Tory, Tory Vice Chair

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