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Eastleigh by-election: The Tories are suffering for gay marriage, and need to focus on migrants and a cost of living budget

1 March 2013

It would be churlish to suggest that the Eastleigh by-election is ‘disastrous’, but coming third in a seat we polled almost 40 per cent in the general election is not good by anyone’s measure.

This is the price that has to be paid for gay marriage because of the drastic unpopularity of it with activists and supporters, who have been less inclined to get out and campaign on the streets because of it. The issue has been a direct recruiting seargeant for UKIP, and there’s anecdotal evidence across the country for UKIP.

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There are two main lessons for me from this result. The first is that the government has to deal with the specific issue of Romanian and Bulgarian immigration as this was a key part of UKIP’s campaign. They have not convinced voters that they are serious about it, and they should have listened when I introduced my Ten-Minute Rule Bill on the EU Free Movement Directive in October as they could be well down the road by now with preparations for this. Ministers are having cross party-meetings, but it has been complete spatchcock approach so far and David Cameron needs to take personal responsibility for this.

The second issue is that the Budget has absolutely got to be one for working families, focused on the cost of living.

Will this be immediately a dangerous flashpoint for Cameron’s leadership? I don’t think so, but there are important issues that the party needs to get to grips with in the coming months.

Stewart Jackson is Conservative MP for Peterborough.

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Show comments
  • Liberanos

    If tories really do believe they failed in the Eastleigh by-election election because of gay marriage,then the general election is a lost cause for them.
    I don’t care too much. I don’t vote for them. But if this is the case, it’s astonishing that a modern party with so many intelligent thinkers can make such a fundamental error.

  • James Pastial

    It is not quantum physics leave the EU and stop immigration and the tories would win otherwise people will just vote UKIP

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    Almost 68,000 at 100,000 it goes to Parliament

  • Renie Anjeh

    It seems like Stewart Jackson has written his letter to Graham Brady calling for a ‘vote of no confidence’.

  • AlexanderGalt

    The single time the Conservatives were beating Labour in the polls since the election was when Cameron seemed to get tough on Europe.

    Right wing policies on immigration and Europe would be popular.

    Incidentally, on a related subject there’s a great take on how the crime of treason is likely to make a comeback in the wake of the Birmingham terror plot in: “Humpty and
    his Numpties” at:

  • Daviejohn

    The second issue is that the Budget has absolutely got to be one for working families, focused on the cost of living.

    Absolutely, can we for once leave the non contributors off the agenda and give the rest of us a break?

  • paulus

    I have read your dillusional witterings.. UKIP are going to be a major force in UK politics, you are so mad your certifiable. You do not have one member of Parliament, the green party are a more potent force than you, your dilusional.

    Your reasoning seems to consist of get rid of cameron, vote in a labour government, at some ill defined future the people will rise up and vote UKIP. Apparently Herewald the bold in the 11th C had the same strategy to get rid of the Normans, I assume yous are adopting the same tactics. Unaware that your life is finite, at some fucking point you will die, at the best guesstimate about three score years and ten. The hit and hope strategy wont work. The Normans are still here and yous are still donkeys. There is a battle to be fought in the very near future and you idiots are a hinderence not a help. Men would not allow people like you stand the line with them We will be taking back what is ours and is our by right.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      Incoherent I find this comment.

  • KJP

    I agree that gay marriage was a major factor. It was certainly the most important reason behind my own recent switch of voting intention to UKIP. What I find puzzling is the total lack of follow-up opinion surveys on the importance of the issue for the silent majority of person-in-the-street straight people! There has been NO ex-post attempt to find out what people think of the gay marriage vote – just a complete reliance by the metrosexual/homosexual opinion polling and political community on a tiny sample pre-vote poll that was (wrongly) interpreted to imply that people didn’t care about the issue! Come on YouGov – I’m fed up of your interminable questions about SmartTVs…..give me something IMPORTANT to offer my opinion on!!!

  • Douglas Macdonald

    Cameron will not win in 2015. No chance no way. I and many others will not vote again for someone who just does not listen. As for all the EU renegotiation nonsense without invoking Article 50, The Lisbon Treaty, he must think we are all idiots.

  • Alex Jones

    The tories need to get in line with UKIP policy we want out of the EU

    Sign this petition to restrict Bulgarian and Romanians from entering the UK:

    Over 65,000! 100,000 it goes to Parliament

  • timinsingapore

    The most disastrous strategy for the Tories would be to trail haplessly towards the right in the hope of seducing the UKIP types, and in the process lose the support of the sane.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      It isn’t the right. It is the interest of our nation vs others. It is freedom vs tyranny. Is Singapore right-wing? How’s that working out, economically?

  • Paul Z. Temperton

    Are you sure about this? Michael Gove said on the Today Programme this morning that not a single voter on the doorstep in Eastleigh raised the issue of gay marriage. It seems to be a problem with Tory activists but not one that ordinary voters care about.

    • jimbo1978

      i would question his sources.. i suspect it’s not the case. but gay marriage is a very taboo issue with evidence showing that people are scared to show their opposition to it. Anonymous polling shows much greater opposition to gay marriage than usual polling methods.

  • tomwhuxley

    Stop blaming gay marriage for all the Conservative party’s problems. The only reason it has become an albatross around your neck is because of MPs such as you making such an enormous fuss about it. Most normal people don’t have a problem with it and are turned off by the debate, which will be seen as archaic only six months from now.

    I don’t believe a single activist has stopped helping the party over that issue alone. I suspect the government’s poor record on the economy and a complete and utter lack of appealing Tory policies has a lot more to do with it, in political terms.

    But far more relevant is the utterly shabby way that Downing Street and CCHQ treat ordinary members and activists, particularly outside of London. The story of activists being charged 90p for a cup of instant coffee rings true. I might have jumped on a coach to help in Eastleigh if I wasn’t being asked to pay for the privilege. Unless you are a serious political greasy pole climber (and even then), there’s nothing for you in Tory activism – barely even a thank you, much of the time, certainly not from anyone near the top.

    And when you see decent local candidates you’ve devoted much support to routinely lose elections, over national issues determined behind closed doors with the leader of the Liberal bloody Democrats, it becomes a very unpleasant business.

    • jimbo1978

      local party chairmen and women are resigning in many places and membership has plummeted, with gay marriage being given as a key reason. Cameron ignores his party at his peril.. nobody stabs in the back like a Tory!

      • tomwhuxley

        It is nobody’s main reason for quitting and you know it.

        • jimbo1978

          mm not sure i do.. shouldn’t i take people at their word?

          • tomwhuxley

            You could try asking them. I don’t know of a single person who has deserted the Tories mainly because they disapprove of gay marriage. Even typing that out feels absurd.

    • Rhoda Klapp

      It isn’t gay marriage per se, that is not the point. It is the elevation of gay marriage the political issue to a level of importance it doesn’t justify over things that matter more immediately. Now some of us know this was a European ECHR issue which is being pushed all over the EU (yes I know they aren’t the same thing) and Cameron was under pressure, but that was scarcely discussed at parliamentary level because it is another example of our country being under the control of outside powers. It wasn’t covered properly here in the spect or anywhere in the MSM. If you understand why gay marriage became an issue it stinks. If you are a tory activist who doesn’t understand how it became such a priority, it serves only to reduce any confidence in the leadership.

      • tomwhuxley

        I’d argue that the issue was chiefly “elevated” in that sense by the noisy Coalition for Marriage campaign, which has wound up doing nobody any favours. I sat listening to the whole of Ann Widdecombe’s well-received keynote speech to their conference event – they were all critiques of Christians’ mistreatment in society, chiefly at the hands of the ECHR, and fear-mongering out of that rather than a critique of the issue at hand.

        I can’t help but wonder what they could have achieved if they’d turned their campaigning hand to an issue where most of the public, and indeed the Conservative party, was actually on their side – namely Britain’s human rights law – because all they have achieved so far is to cause an enormous amount of internal and external damage to the conservative movement in general.

  • Charles Hedges

    It isn’t gay marriage Mr Jackson, it is ATOS and Triage and your party’s slavish support for their mendacious bullying. Get a conscience and we might vote for you.

  • Tony Quintus

    1: Gay marriage must fall by the wayside when sent back by the lords, to try and push it through could and should cost Cameron the leadership.
    2: A show of REAL strength regarding Europe, the budget was a good start, but this raft of new fiscal controls should simply be ignored, the same for prisoners votes. New primary legistaltion enshrining the primacy of UK law wouldn’t hurt either.
    3: Remove the overseas aid ringfence
    4: Intervene in any council which is raising council tax, regardless of who is running them.
    5: New local government bill enshrining what councils must do and what they are banned from doing (pilgrims!)
    6: Nothing more for the Lib Dems, period. They come back to the table on boundries or they can sing.
    And that’s just to start

  • andagain

    Has anyone noticed that the party that WON THE ELECTION is in favour of gay marriage and the EU?

    • Grrr8

      Those pesky things called facts and the real world …..

      • tember2

        Come on, let the grey-haired brigade have their fun…

        • Rhoda Klapp

          So the equality thing you claim to care about does not prevent you from demonstrating ageism?

          • Noa

            Ageist views demonstrating liberal credentials.

    • Tom Tom

      yes and has a misogynist approach to women but an ardent love of young boys. Cyril Smith would be so proud……is the word ped…asty ?

    • jimbo1978

      erm.. don’t recall them being in favour of gay marriage at the election.. and don’t remember them winning the election either..

      • andagain

        I remember their voting for it in the Commons rather recently, and winning the election in Eastleigh yesterday.

        • jimbo1978

          the LIb Dems won the seat yesterday.. you said the party that won the election.. i see now you meant the by-election!! Yes indeed the lib dems won with a much reduced vote share, massive swing from them to UKIP.. so they’ve lost votes to an anti-gay marriage party.

      • James

        “I support gay marriage. Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil
        institution should be the same, too. All couples should be able to make
        that commitment to one another.” — Nick Clegg, February 2010

        And andagain is clearly referring to the byelection, not the general election.

        • jimbo1978

          point about by v general is over now really.. re nick clegg, funny he says it but doesn’t put it in manifesto.. sorry but personal support is not enough to claim a political mandate!

  • duyfken

    Mr Jackson has been keen to contribute to Cameron’s defence, and now in the comments he has the responses (I particularly commend Mike Stallard’s suggestions). Would it not be worthy of the gentleman to reply to these?

  • Christopher Mooney

    Michael Gove’s school reforms, and the NHS reforms are actually very unpopular, and borderline toxic with voters.

    Yet Conservatives laud Gove, as he’s errr, saying right wing things………

  • Christopher Mooney

    Conservatives remind me of Republicans in America, under Mitt Romney

    Coming up with ideological comforting conclusions, rather than concentration on the actual facts.

    Conservative polling hasn’t shifted at all, in Eastleigh or Nationally, since their EU referendum promise or gay marriage backing?

    Why? People don’t really care about the EU or Gay Marriage. It’s not a priority.

    • tember2

      People who are gay or lesbian, and their families and friends, plus those who care about equality and treating people the same under the law, care about gay marriage.

  • gscott

    no one gave a toss about gay marriage……… its a complete load of moon shine. People are concerned about immigration though. Dont fall for this Bulgarian immigration nonsense though, this is small beer to the ever increasing numbers of Pakistanis and Indians continuing to fllod the country, this is not immigration but population swapping

  • Magnolia

    There was never a cult of Cameron.
    He is uncharismatic.
    At best he is ok, but he is also a bossy, turncoat patrician who is bloody minded and none too clever.
    He is a proven loser at elections and yesterday he proved that he’s still a good loser.
    The dilemma for true conservatives is do we stay loyal to the glorious 81 in the hope that ‘something will happen’ or do we defect?
    The only clip I’ve seen this morning of our PM’s reaction showed a shellshocked, rabbit in the headlights Cameron giving us a repetitive list of his policy aspirations.
    He looked well oven ready.

    • Vulture

      Get your friendly local Tory MP to depose him Mags : its the only way.

  • Russell

    Mr Jackson.
    When our government has no control over who can enter our country, people have no faith in our politicians.
    People who were regarded as merely undesirable used to be refused entry to the UK.

    We have Muslim preachers spouting their hatred of all westerners and British people who are now given thousands of pounds per year in benefits and remain here.
    Even violent criminals including rapists cannot be deported because of THEIR rights to family life here in the UK, even if they entered this country illegally initially!

    A governments FIRST and PRIME duty is to protect the people of the United Kingdom, and all three main political parties have failed and this government continues to fail to protect its people.

    You and your fellow MP’s really do not get it.

  • Framer

    Surely it is time for MPs to legislate on future EU migration and the removal of those living here on benefits alone? The government is too easily frightened of EU and court criticism. Spain and Italy just get on with it. Parliament is supposed to be sovereign. Here is a back bench revolt that Labour can’t vote against.

  • Abandon Ship!

    Every time I listen to Any Questions or Question Time, or interviews on Radio 4 etc, I am constantly disappointed by the tone/views of the conservative representative, who generally sound almost the same as the Labour/Lib Dem representatives. In other words, in this type of forum, I feel unrepresented, and so-called conservative representatives seem to fall over themselves to sound reasonable and with it in terms of liberal concerns (AGW, environmentalism, gay issues, immigration, the NHS). This is why people like me are deserting Cameron’s ship. When a Murray or Hannan or P Hitchens is on, I feel that there is someone representing my views at last, but in the media and the Westminster bubble, such people are regarded as pantomime villains at best, and dangerous “fascists” at worst. However there are a lot of people out here in the general population who get fed up with being villified for what are, in reality, reasonable views.

    • James Cleghorn

      Well said Abandon ship – my sentiments exactly!

  • UlyssesReturns

    I cannot believe what is happening to my party. I am a tory of the Thatcherite tradition through and through and I give up. What you so-called conservative MP clowns don’t realise is that you are perilously close to an SDP moment when a large part of the Conservative party could defect to the UKIP banner. I can’t believe I am saying this but, the sooner the better. I don’t think much of UKIP and Farage but I find myself thinking even less of Cameron and Osborne – they have become the tory equivalents of Foot and Benn. How you could lose Eastleigh to the corrupt libtards and come behind the single-issue Ukippers is beyond me.

    • Vulture

      Ulysses: Ukip are not single issue – check out their website and see.

      Then come and join us.

      I was in ~UKIP’s campaiugn HQ in Eastleigh for three days and I can assure you that they are very far from the ‘fruitcakes, loonies and racists’ of Dave’s insult: they are ordinary people who love their country and hate what’s being done to it. The sort of people who used to be Conservatives – yes, and Labour too.

      Come and join us. You’ll be surprised b y the warmth of the welcome.

      • Noa

        Hear hear!

      • UlyssesReturns

        Vulture, I appreciate and accept your sincerity but I am afraid, despite what the website says, UKIP are an immature, one-issue party. That may change if it can attract politicians of real quality like Gove or Pickles, but until then I am afraid it is not credible. With the best will in the world, I could no more vote for Farage than I could for that ex-tory prat Hamilton. It would take more that a good result at Eastleigh to persuade me and millions like me to switch to UKIP, though the way things are going……..

      • jimbo1978

        my problem with UKIP is as a traditional Labour supporter, also feeling betrayed by the vapid, cosmopolitan Labour Party.. but how can i vote for UKIP who want to stop overseas aid??..

        • edlancey

          Why do you want to throw money at dictators when working class pensioners are poor here ?

          • jimbo1978

            it’s simply not true that overseas aid goes to dictators etc.. I agree that there are problems with corruption in foreign governments and it is important that the money gets to where it needs to go, our overseas aid department does what it can to ensure that. Where it cannot ensure that, money is given to NGO’s like Oxfam and (i hope) Tearfund. I’m really proud of us as a nation when I see the good work our money is doing to help the world’s poorest people. Absolutely we must look after our own poor and sick too, perhaps therefore we should ensure the super rich pay their taxes before we start taking it away from the world’s poorest though?

    • Archimedes

      I’m pretty much of the same position. Mass defection might be the most sensible course at this stage. Given the current makeup of the UK electorate, with four parties, and where it seems to be going, it is plausible that with the right candidates UKIP could grab a victory in 2020 or shortly after. In any case it is starting to look much more likely that UKIP could have that majority, than the Conservative party.

      • A RusdellWilson

        Enough defections to UKIP could begin to make it a more intelligent, multi-issue party.

    • dalai guevara

      The bitter truth is that it is of course the economic data that is the nail in the coffin of the likes of Osborne.
      The second bitter truth is that UKIP has no answer to these underlying economic problems of our time. Diversion and blaming Europe discredit their approach.

      UKIP is not Beppe Grillo – this simple fact illustrates that even ‘protest’ parties target the wrong delinquents.

      THAT is the worrying thing in British politics today: there is no real opposition.

  • Archimedes

    Actually, it is a disaster. If you’re a Tory MP sitting in a marginal, with UKIP able to grab 27% of the Eastleigh vote, you have to be wondering whether or not you might actually be better off as a UKIP candidate, or alternatively you have to be thinking about how you mitigate the UKIP problem. It’s a disaster because it causes management problems for Cameron. Some MPs might not feel quite so threatened by the idea that they wouldn’t be able to retain their seat if they were running for any other party. Other MPs will be looking to go about their business with a greater deal of autonomy. Lot’s of MPs will be panicking.

    You also have to wonder which brand has more stigma attached to it now, UKIP or Conservative? If Conservatives are pragmatic above all else, then the answer to that question is the party that has to go.

  • monty61

    Cost of living budget? It’s monetary policy (designed to shore up asset values) that’s hammering the cost of living. QE is driving inflation, low interest rates are driving inflation at the same time as trashing pensions and savings.

    Giving a few p back here and there isn’t the answer while continuing to stoke inflation. What’s needed is a bonfire of the public sector starting with the £7bn landlord benefit doled out every year to BTL ‘investors’ (an obvious encouragement to malinvestment in non-productive economic activity), followed swiftly by an end to corporation tax to encourage employment and investment in proper businesses.

    Let’s make it profitable again to invest in business and watch the recovery happen. Tinkering at the edges with fuel duty will achieve precisely nothing.

    • Olaf

      Fuel duty is a red herring. Makes good headlines and everyone suffers because of it but even if the Gov cut fuel duty by 10p or even 20p the oil cabal will quickly manipulate the price back up or put it up before the reduction is enacted (which is what happened the last time a change was mentioned). Same for other energy taxes. VAT is a waste of time to play with unless the change would be very large, it costs businesses more to implement than any change to the Treasury or the consumer. If they’re going to do anything it has to be income tax or NI.

      • Tom Tom

        Fuel Duty is essentially a hauliers issue. They are the ones that cannot compete on cabotage now EU truckers can operate inside the UK. It is courier firms that are barely profitable. Funnily enough, the Profits that the Bus Companies report is usually equal to the Diesel Subsidy they receive

        • Olaf

          You’ve got me wrong. Fuel duty is hellish but I think even if the Gov tried to reduce it the oil cabal will simply swallow up that saving and the end users will see no benefit. Hauliers maybe need a rebate or less charges in other ways but changes to fuel duty I don’t think will reach them. The last time there was even a rumor of a fuel duty cut the price went up by the rumoured amount just prior to the announcement only to fall when it never happened.

  • Swiss Bob

    UKIP have crushed the meme that a UKIP vote is a wasted vote.

    Now people see they can win it’s brown trouser time for the other parties and the EU.

  • Russell

    What you and your colleagues are missing entirely Mr Jackson, is that the Conservative/Labour and LibDems have frequently called the UKIP party a one issue party…..out of the EU, in which you are correct, it is their primary purpose.
    By failing to understand or listen to what the electorate are saying, by a significant majority according to recent polls, is that we want out of the EU.
    Promises to hold a referendum maybe in 2017 and if held would have all three parties campaigning to remain in the EU is entirely against the majority of the electorates wishes. The Tories are not even going to make it compulsory for any future government to hold a referendum on this important matter.
    Our membership of the EU impacts on our laws, on Immigration, on our economy, on our businesses, in fact on every aspect of our lives and as such although never featuring as the most important issue for voters, is because it touches all the other issues.
    £10 billion NET per year contribution to the EU is obscene..

  • Vulture

    ‘Will this be a dangerous flashpoint for Cameron’s leadership? I don’t think so…’writes
    Stewart Jackson.

    And in that single sentence he writes the Obituary of his useless party.

    For be assured, Mr J. Unless you depose David Cameron and in double quick time too UKIP will come and get you too.

    • Tom Tom

      Labour couldn’t bear to part with Gordon Brown; Cameron can’t bear to part with Gideon; Tories can’t bear to lose Cameron. Coming to a theatre near you – OBLIVION – One Man’s Story, David Cameron and the Death of Conservatism

  • In2minds

    “here are important issues that the party needs to get to grips with in the coming months” –

    In the coming months? There have been important issues but no grip from the start!

  • Swiss Bob

    You think you’re losing the right wing of your party to UKIP but that’s not what the data says, all parties are losing voters to UKIP and the people they’re losing are the working class.

    • Stalwart Steve

      Not only the working class, but certainly the working class. It is a deceit to say that UKIP are right wing, they are not, they are patriotic and put Britain first. This resonates with people from all backgrounds.

      • James

        Have you looked at their policies in any detail? They want huge tax cuts for the rich, large increases in prison places and the size of the military, and to do away with all anti-discrimination laws. They are basically a caricature of the far right of the Tory party.

        • david.geddes1

          Yes amongst other things. We also want our country back, to get out of the EU, to live in a democracy. We want to get out of debt. We want to end the failed multicultural experiment. We want free speech. We do not want to be ruled by the out of touch LibLabCon elite.

  • Minekiller

    The Conservative party has become a vapid, leaderless, principle free, middle ground grasping social democratic party, indistinct from Labour or the Lib Dems. All three have become the one party Brussels fed and directed political class that does not represent the views of the majority of British people. A proper Consevative party, as we knew it, should have romped home in this by election. I have never celebrated a Tory defeat until now. Will the Tories learn? No of course not. In their arrogance they will spin every form of denial.

  • Tom Tom

    Why not simply split the Conservative Party and have part join UKIP and the rest can join the LibDems under Nick Clegg. Clegg seems to have more staying power than Cameron and has made the running for the past 3 years – he might as well be Liberal Conservative Leader and Cameron can go work for Tony Blair

  • judyk113

    The Tories are partly suffering from having an unbelievably poor and more or less reactive media and publicity operation. The public should be reminded day after day through lively posters and YouTube clips how much home buyers have saved by having low interest rates compared to those being paid in EU countries which didn’t follow comparable deficit reduction programmes. They should be reminded about the good news about unemployment and benefit claim reductions. They should be being reminded about all the people no longer paying taxes. And they should be being given estimates of what they would be paying and will be paying if Labour had won in 2010 and/or will be paying if Labour gets in and imposes the so-called Living Wage, starts up so called “good” borrowing and the like.

    • Tom Tom

      “how much home buyers have saved by having low interest rates” with posters showing how much Pensioners have lost in Income as Savings have been destroyed; how hard it is for First-Time Buyers to save a Deposit; how much Pensions have been destroyed; how much Banker Salaries have increased since 2008 – 37% at least. Then a Poster could show that £50 billion has been saved in Mortgage Interest through QE – they are the ones buying new cars and big grocery shopping – but £140 billion has been wiped off Pension Funds

      • judyk113

        That is technically correct, but pensioners and other savers would have lost a very great deal more had Labour still been in office or in the event that Labour or a Lab/Dem Coalition comes into power at the next election. Ask the people of Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the others who voted for socialist-led coalitions on promises they could avoid the consequences of previous socialist entitlement and unregulated borrowing and spending. Many of them now have worthless or negative-worth homes as well as worthless savings. The problem of the destruction of savings will only be solved by much more thorough cutting of entitlement spending and genuine debt reduction. This is also a message which the Tories need to be getting out in a very upbeat way instead of the prevarication and underlying lack of honesty in fudging the vital difference between deficit reduction and debt reduction.

        • Tom Tom

          You are off the wall. Spain has a corrupt right-wing government indicted for fraud across the country. It was Aznar who caused the mess. The problem is each country you list is B A N K Sanbd property speculation. What economic policy pursued by Gordon Brown has Gideon Osborne reversed ? He has played Extend And Pretend with QE; he has added more to National Debt that Gordon Brown; only Italy has a worse=performing economy in the EU. This economy is D E A D – it will not revive. You clearly don’t see how dead this country is Judyk113 – but Eastleigh isn’t where it is dead and in Eastleigh people loathe Cameron and his Club of Bankers’ Patsies

    • Olaf

      How much we’ve saved by having banks with the largest gap between base rates and mortgage rates ever? Anything people have saved through changes to income taxes have been eaten up by green taxes impose on energy bills.
      Food and energy inflation exceeding wage increases year upon year. Yup we’ve never had it so good. Numpty.

  • CaediteEos

    With gay marriage it seemed Cameron just set his heart on it, then rammed it through; sod what anyone thinks. So why not do the same for an issue British people actually care about? Like immigration, or lower taxes?
    To me it seems like the metro-left policy of gay marriage was all Cameron actually acted on. Any actual Conservative policies just get vapid rhetoric.

    • MirthaTidville

      Well said and that perception is probably why they are this morning languishing as a poor third…..

    • The Elderking

      Like his own mother said on gay marriage “he just won’t be told”.

      Cameron is dismantling the Tory party and guaranteeing a Labour victory.


      • CaediteEos

        Yep. The irony is that this country could really do with policies, ones that probably wouldn’t make it through a referendum, being forced through. Sadly gay marriage wasn’t one. I’d suggest proper spending cuts and more competitive i.e. lower business taxes. Cameron needs to learn to pick his fights better.

    • HookesLaw

      It was in the Tory Manifesto It was a free vote.
      Keep ignoring the facts if it keeps you happy

      • CaediteEos

        True. But so were married couples tax breaks and inheritance tax cuts, both of which I’d have preferred Cameron to throw his full weight behind, both of which were abandoned. It’s a matter of priorities, and unless Cameron really thinks he can sail through 2015 with the gay vote I reckon he needs to re-assess.

        • James

          Those two things weren’t supported by the Lib Dems (or Labour), so throwing his weight behind them wouldn’t have achieved very much. I imagine he might be thinking more about the slightly longer term – almost all young people support marriage equality (often quite strongly), while the opponents are mostly elderly, and the overall level of support has increased very rapidly over the last couple of decades (it’s around 50-60% now). At the next election, Labour and the Lib Dems (and the SNP and Plaid and the Greens…) would probably have loudly proclaimed their support for it and used it to attack the Tories as hateful and old-fashioned.

          • A RusdellWilson

            Democracy, in practice, means rule by those who bother to vote. Old people do, young people don’t. Deal with it!

      • Malfleur

        What HookesLaw won’t recognize, so he will go down with the ship, is that if Labour forms a government following the next election, the fault will be that of the Conservative Party – nobody else!

    • tember2

      Except that it was the right thing to do.

  • Mike Stallard

    Look, just go onto John Redwood’s blog for a second and read the comments. Then move onto Dan Hannan’s blog. After that look on Roger Helmer’s blog.
    If you have the humility to do that, you will just get a whiff of the sheer anger and disappointment which you and your colleagues in Parliament are causing among the faithful supporters of conservatism.
    Unless you do something pretty radical yesterday or even sooner, the postal votes and dirty trick Liberals and the gormless and stuck-in-the-past labour will overwhelm you completely.

    • LondonStatto

      I wouldn’t describe people working so hard for a government led by Ed Miliband and Ed Balls as “faithful supporters of conservatism”.

      • Stalwart Steve

        So what you are saying is that we must vote for a left wing Conservative Party so that we don’t get a left wing Labour Party? Really? Is that your understanding of democracy? How about we vote for a party that actually represents the views of British people and do what is necessary to give that party some MPs and treat all the other parties as the enemy to democracy and Britain which they are?

        • Tom Tom

          It is highly likely that after the next inconclusive election The City will have a Lab-Con Coalition to control the populace

        • Christopher Mooney

          The majority of people in this country support gay marriage, support the NHS, and think the government is cutting too much. What’s more, they also dislike Michael Gove and his school policies greatly.

          It’s fine to be right wing. But don’t expect to also have a majority. As the voters aren’t there

          • ButcombeMan

            The left/right arguments are out of date, commentators here do not get it. Cameron and even Gove, do not get it either.

            Redefining marriage is not a left/right issue outside the metrolpoitan chattering classes, neither is the EU, control of our own frontiers or unchecked mmigration and consequent pressure on schools, hospitals, housing and policing

            Cameron is just not listening, not only to those who might readily support him but to anyone. He does not understand the population he rules. He is widely distrusted over his EU promises.

            I have long concluded that the UKIP vote is emphatically not, just, from the Tories.

            I have a parent who has supported the Tories for 60 years (and paid a subscription). No longer.

            To do that needs a special sort of skill as a political leader.

            Even were he to accept the damage he has done (unlikely), I do not think Cameron can now recover in time for 2015.

            Ashcroft should stop wasting his money.

            It is over.

            Cameron will lose in 2015. We will have a financially illiterate Lavour government, maybe with LibDem support. The UK will sink further into the mire.

            There will be a centre right re-grouping, but not under Cameron.

            Were I younger I would be emigrating.

          • jimbo1978

            no, there is no majority support for gay marriage.. it’s a myth and the head of Com RES had to write to David Cameron to stop him from saying it. The impartial polls speak of a small but significant majority opposed to gay marriage, the ones paid for by campaign groups on either side we can ignore.

        • HookesLaw

          This Tory Party is not left wing It suits you to delude yourself. Cameron is probably more right wing than Willy Whitelaw

          • Noa

            And no doubt one day he will be one of the knights that say ‘nigh’.

          • A RusdellWilson

            Heard of a non-sequitur?

    • sarah_13

      Yes I agree entirely. If you could get other mps to read calmly the actual reasons for much of the disaffection you might have a chance of winning. It is the dismissive and thoughtless way matters such as gay marriage have been dealt with that is the problem. I personally have no real view for or against but ss a conservative i’m for keeping what works and am reluctant to get involved in what really is the redefinition of marriage. Tory voters are very committed, if they decide to change it parties it will be difficult to win them back once nthere allegiances are entrenched with another party. Cameron could eat humble pie and win them back and in the process he would become a much better leader, real humility is an essential requirement. He needs to be jolted to do this very quickly.

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