Gay marriage costs Tories support in the pews

Telegraph (UK) 18 August 2012
Almost six out of 10 people who attend services regularly say they are less likely to vote Conservative at the next election because of the plans to redefine marriage. More than a third of those polled said it had no effect on whether they would support the Conservatives but most of them would never vote for the party anyway. Support among churchgoers for Labour and the Liberal Democrats was also damaged by their stance on the marriage question but the biggest impact by far was on the Conservatives. It suggests that the issue has caused a major breach between the party and religious voters, who have traditionally been viewed as part of its heartland. Historically, the Church of England has been characterised as the “Tory party at prayer”. But parties have been competing for support among religious groups, with estimates suggesting that as many as 7.6 million adults attend church at least once a month and almost five million go every Sunday. At the last election Mr Cameron recorded a personal video appeal to Christian voters.

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