What I did and did not say about gay marriage

By Lord Ashcroft

I saw in Thursday’s Telegraph that somebody had told David Cameron he “must force through gay marriage despite opposition”. I read on with interest, only to learn that the somebody in question was me. This was curious: I am sure I would remember having said a thing like that.

What I did remember saying was that in electoral terms, the question of gay marriage was more finely balanced than some had suggested.

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The politics of same-sex marriage

By Lord Ashcroft

David Cameron has recently confirmed his intention to legislate for gay marriage before the next election. The debate has continued over the summer break: last weekend the Coalition for Marriage published a poll showing that the plans could cost the Conservatives support among churchgoers; earlier this week Boris Johnson released a video restating his support for the idea. The intervention of the Mayor shows that the debate is not just one of left versus right within the Conservative Party, if indeed that delineation still applies. More importantly, it is a reminder that dropping the proposals in order to mollify one group of voters – as opponents of gay marriage advise – would have repercussions of its own. In my recent polling I have tried to look objectively at voters’ reaction to the idea.

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Labour set for comfortable win in Corby

Corby constituency

By Lord Ashcroft

Labour are set for comfortable win in the Corby & East Northamptonshire by-election, according to a poll I conducted in the days following Louise Mensch’s resignation announcement. They begin the campaign with a 15-point lead: 52% to the Conservatives’ 37%.

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