Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Spotlight
  2. Elections
6 April 2010

Support for Conservatives plunges among gay voters

Tory party falls 5 points to 20 per cent after Grayling gaffe.

By George Eaton

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.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

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.”

Content from our partners
Small businesses can be the backbone of our national recovery
Railways must adapt to how we live now
“I learn something new on every trip"

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.

Follow the New Statesman team on Facebook.