Monday, April 06, 2009

Labour Party Gets Gay Shock

A recent poll in Great Britain shows a monumental shift politically, if not for the nation as a whole, at least for the Conservative Party. In the poll 1,800 gay men and lesbians were asked whether they would support Labour, the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. For the first time the plurality of gay men and lesbians have said they intend to vote for the Conservatives.

The poll showed that 30% were behind the Conservatives while Liberal Democrats and Labour tied at 18%. Those saying they would not vote at all were 17% and 9% said they are unsure. Labour has always considered the gay vote a safe bet. The marks a big shift for gay voters in England. In 2005 they went for Labour with 33% while the Conservatives attracted 21%.

I think there are two reasons for the shift. One is that the Labour governments of Blair and Brown have been openly authoritarian. As bad as the tendency toward a police state has been in the United States it is far worse in the UK. Secondly, the Conservative Party has not been gay adverse, like Republicans in the United States. England does not have a significant number of fundamentalist nutters such as infest the GOP here.

Tory leader David Cameron told gay voters: “I want the Conservative Party to be an open and inclusive Party which speaks for everyone in Britain regardless of their race, background or sexuality…” It is not likely that any major Republican is yet willing to say even that. Tory party chairman, Francis Maude, says that the party regrets their previous positions.
The Conservatives have also said they want more gay candidates to stand for office. Nick Boles, director of the Policy Exchange, and a former Tory Parliamentary candidate said: “There doesn’t need to be much intervention to ensure there is a good selection of openly gay people in winnable seats. I have always been openly gay. I hope to get on the list and to get a seat.”

If you want to see the difference between the British Conservatives and American Republicans below is a video of the Conservative Party Humanist Association being held at the Conservative Party national conference. The speaker, as you will see, is Richard Dawkins.

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