The Tories were fortunate that none of the papers chose to lead on the Chris Grayling story on Monday. If they had, David Cameron would be facing far more calls to sack his shadow home secretary.
But the party would be wrong to think that it had escaped from the row with no damage. A new PinkNews poll of more than a thousand LGBT voters shows that support for the Tories has fallen sharply since Grayling’s gaffe and since Cameron’s flustered interview on gay rights.
The poll puts support for the Tories down 5 points to 20 per cent, with Labour unchanged on 28 per cent and the Lib Dems up 5 points to 29 per cent.
Under our electoral system, small swings such as this could hurt the Tories in just the sort of Lib Dem marginals they need to win to secure an overall majority.
Cameron is expected to mention gay people specifically in his first speech after the election is called, describing them as part of the “great ignored”. That’s his way of telling his party: “No more gaffes like Grayling’s, please.”
PS: The Grayling story may not have been pursued hotly by the press, but it’s had a big impact on the web. “Chris Grayling” is still trending on Twitter.