Grassroots Tories leaving party over gay marriage

Jul 24, 2012

A Telegraph survey of 100 Conservative associations found that grassroots supporters are walking away from the party over gay marriage.

Local Tory party officials are urging David Cameron to ditch the unpopular policy, and focus all his efforts on boosting the economy.

The survey comes after analysis compiled by Lord Ashcroft, the Tories’ former Conservative chairman, found that more than a third of people who voted Tory in 2010 general election are refusing to back the party in the future.

Party membership has slumped from 258,000 when Mr Cameron became leader to as few as 177,000 this year.

John Boast, honorary treasurer at Enfield North Conservative Association, said: “A lot of party members feel abandoned and let down by David Cameron.”

Jenni Mayer, president of West Lancashire Conservative Association, said she was “disappointed” in Mr Cameron, adding: “He is not the person I thought he was and I find that desperately sad.”

Earlier this month, a Conservative Home survey of Tory party members showed they think gay marriage is biggest failure of the Cameron years.