Thursday, 9 April 2015

Election 2015: 'The Gay Vote'

Around 6% of the British population are estimated to be gay. But little definitive statistical evidence exists on how they vote, says Joe Twyman, of YouGov, a pollster. Generally, he says, they tend to be slightly less fond of the Conservatives than is the population as a whole, and slightly more likely to support Labour or the bedraggled Liberal Democrats. In a YouGov poll of gay, lesbian and bisexual people last year, two-thirds of those asked said that they would not vote for an MP who had voted against same-sex marriage (the other third said they would). But it is not their biggest concern: like the broader population, the economy and health care are the most pressing issues, says Mr Twyman...

But perhaps the biggest boost for the party is yet to come. After the same-sex marriage vote, Philip Cowley, a psephologist at the University of Nottingham, worked out that 58% of Conservative MPs born after 1970 voted for it, in contrast to 45% of those born before that year. Younger people are more likely to be socially liberal and to support same-sex marriage. Undecided future voters are less likely to see the Conservatives as the nasty party on gay issues. And gay people who might once have been furtive in voting for them can now be bolder about their choice. After all, for some, coming out as a Conservative may once have been as hard as coming out as gay.

The Economist.


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