The Conservatives are now neck and neck with Labour as the favoured party of LGBT voters, according to a recent opinion poll for PinkNews.
The survey of voting intentions puts both the Tories and Labour on 26% – a 5 percentage point rise since the last election in 2010 for the Conservatives, while Labour is down two percentage points.
Surprisingly, the poll reveals support for the Liberal Democrats has dropped considerably. Five years ago, the Lib Dems where the most popular party, with 40% of LGBT people saying they would vote for them.
According to the survey, the Greens have made the biggest gains in the LGBT vote. Their support has leaped from 4% to 20% in five years.
Ukip had the lowest support – with just 2% of LGBT voters.
Pink News chief executive Benjamin Cohen said:
“The polling shows that the LGBT community is as divided as the rest of the country when it comes this year’s general election. However, there is one striking difference, the almost negligible level of support for Ukip and consequently the increased popularity for the Greens and SNP. ”
This is the first time in the 10 years that PinkNews has polled the LGBT community that the Conservatives have led the survey of voting intentions. Under David Cameron’s leadership gay marriage was legalised last year.
On the Conservatives’ new popularity amongst gay voters Cohen said:
“There is not a reason not to vote Conservative if you’re gay. Probably what you’re going to do is make a decision based on the economy or other issues. This is the first election that the leadership of all the mainstream parties’ leadership have demonstrated they are supportive of the LGBT community.”
LGBT voters ranked the economy as the most important reason for choosing who to vote with LGBT policies in fourth place.