Guardian (UK) 3 Feb 2013
David Cameron warned by Conservatives that gay marriage proposals will cause ‘significant damage’ at ballot box. Conservative cabinet members, junior ministers and party enforcers are among about 180 MPs poised to oppose or abstain in a vote on gay marriage, it has been claimed. The prime minister, David Cameron, has also been sent a letter, signed by 25 chairmen or former chairmen of Conservative party associations, warning the policy would cause “significant damage” at the ballot box, according to the Sunday Telegraph. MPs will vote on the proposals, which will also allow civil partners to convert their partnership to a marriage and enable married people to change their legal gender without having to end their union, for the first time when the bill has its second reading on Tuesday. Backbenchers have made no secret of their opposition to the move and were angered further when the Tory leadership made clear earlier this week it would not include marriage tax breaks in next month’s budget – something that would have been seen as a concession to disgruntled traditionalists.
Gay marriage could cost Conservatives power, poll suggests
Telegraph 1 Feb 2013
Divisions over gay marriage could cost the Conservatives enough votes to force them out of power at the next election, a new poll suggests. One in five of voters who supported the party in 2010 would “definitely not” do so again if the Coalition presses ahead with the change, it found. Even though a majority of Conservative voters polled insisted they would stay with the party, the loss of a fifth of its support would be enough to force it out of power. On Friday night some Conservative MPs described the findings as a “wake up call” to David Cameron, just a few days before the Commons votes for the first time on legalsing gay marriage.