Skip to content

Conservative voters quit party over same-sex 'marriage' Act

Printer-friendly version

Former grassroots members have left the Conservative Party because David Cameron pushed the same-sex 'marriage' law through parliament, according to leading party activists. 

The fall in subscriptions has led to a major loss of income for the Conservative Party. 

A new survey of 262 party associations reveals that 211 of them report a fall in subscriptions, with losses in Cabinet ministers’ constituencies in particular.

Party activists say that grassroots supporters are discontent with the Conservative leadership because the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was never mentioned in the Queen’s Speech or promised in the party manifesto.


The Daily Telegraph reports that analysis of the 2012-13 accounts of local Conservative associations shows that the seats of Cabinet ministers are losing members because of concerns about government policies.

Ben Harris-Quinney, director of campaign group Conservative Grassroots, says the most alienating policies for party members, such as the redefinition of marriage, were avoidable.

The paper reports comments from a range of constituencies all critical of the way the central party has introduced policies which local members did not have a chance to discuss.
Another Conservative Grassroots official said: "Particularly, policies of Same Sex Marriage and the 'ring fenced' International Aid budget have driven the Conservative Party's base to breaking point.
"We have been warning against the appalling way the central party has been treating members for several years now. Calling them swivel-eyed loons is not the way to promote good relations with local associations and members, who are vital in the fight to win the general election and raise money for good local candidates.”
And a spokesman for the Calder Valley Association commented: “Membership has decreased this year due to a number of factors. The main feedback we have received related to the coalition debate and vote about gay marriage, and the European issue which continues to be a topic of conversation amongst members.”
Read more here >

Further facts:

  • There was no commitment to redefining marriage in the 2010 Conservative manifesto, so voters had no reason to expect it.
  • The Bill was never included in the Queen's speech.
  • Over 650,000 people signed a petition against re-defining marriage.
  • A majority of Conservative MPs voted against the bill.
  • A series of amendments to protect conscience were rejected.
  • The initial consultation suggested that same-sex 'weddings' in religious services would not be allowed - but this was later relaxed.
  • In judging the response to its consultation, the government effectively ignored those who signed the Coalition for Marriage petition (despite earlier assurances that they would be taken into account) but at the same time included bulk responses that were pro-same-sex 'marriage' - leading to huge distortion.
  • If all petitions had been included, 83% would have been against the redefinition of marriage.
  • If all petitions had been excluded, 64% of consultation responses would have been against. But by excluding petition responses which were against redefinition, whilst including those that were for re-definition, the government managed to produce a figure that suggested 53% were in favour of same-sex 'marriage'!


Subscribe to our emails