Sunday, 29 April 2012

Marriage Equality: U-turns & Avalanches

"A survey by pollsters ComRes suggested Mr Cameron’s strong support for same-sex marriage could cost his party up to 30 seats in a general election. The UK Independence Party (Ukip) stands to benefit most from the drop in Tory support on this issue, the survey indicates, in what will be seen as further evidence that the Prime Minister is concentrating on policies that fail to appeal in his party’s heartlands."

The Sunday Telegraph.
This factoid was dropped into an interview with Boris Johnson.
Apropos of nothing, as the Telegraph had pointed out earlier in the article; "Mr Johnson, who takes on Labour’s Ken Livingstone in this week’s mayoral election in London, does not mention issues such as gay marriage and the environment – policies that Mr Cameron has promoted recently, earning him criticism from his party."
The uncitated 30-seats claim is presumably extrapolated from a highly dubious ComRes/Catholic Voices poll.
EDIT: Nope, it was taken from this ComRes/Christian Institute poll, which wasn't published til May, so the "exclusive" result was fed to the journalist. 
That put support for gay marriage at half of that of two other recent polls.
ie The claim is highly dubious and I imagine it's just been fed to the journalist by those well-known liars at Coalition 4 Marriage. 
Needless to say the Mail On Sunday is also hammering away today on the now familiar "vote loser" riff - and are also making hysterical claims they don't back up and that don't stand up that I bet they got from you-know-who.
'U-turn Tory MPs tell constituents: 'We were wrong on gay marriage' in bid to win back voters''
"David Cameron is under intense pressure to ditch his gay marriage initiative amid claims that Tory MPs fear they are 'haemorrhaging' votes over the issue...
"The pressure on Mr Cameron has been increased by warnings that a Tory rebellion in the Commons would eclipse last year's EU referendum revolt, when 81 Conservatives defied the Prime Minister. "Backbenchers are reporting an 'avalanche' of protests from Conservative supporters over the gay marriage initiative championed by Mr Cameron...
"MPs have been so stunned by the scale of the protests that a secret group has been set up by Tory MPs at Westminster to force Mr Cameron to back down. Many of the MPs admit that the 'avalanche' of letters from the Tory grass roots was forcing them to change their views."
There may have been an "avalanche" of letters about this - gay marriage must be a green light to the green ink brigade.
MPs of all parties are quite used to receiving these cranks' hatemail and probably ignore them - just as they ignore most e-petitions.
But how many MPs have actually changed their views?
Interestingly the Mail On Sunday could only find one who claimed this, Philip Lee, the newly-elected nobody for Bracknell. 
That number again - one.
The Mail make another assertion; "The Mail on Sunday has been told that Chief Whip Patrick McLoughlin has privately assured anxious Tory backbenchers that the Prime Minister's same-sex marriage plan will 'not come to a vote'.
"The MPs say Mr McLoughlin told them the controversial proposal will be 'kicked into the long grass'."
As the crisis for David Cameron continues, both within his own party and amongst an electorate with far more pressing problems, I wouldn't be surprised if the Mail On Sunday have actually got this bit right.

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