Senior Tory Councillor: It is a shame that some voters have gone to UKIP over equal marriage

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A senior Conservative county councillor has expressed disappointment at the fact that ballot papers in last week’s local elections were spoiled by voters who voiced their opposition to equal marriage.

The Tory politician, who asked not to be named, told This Is Leicestershire that he saw that a number of voters had written “no to gay marriage”, next to his name on the ballot papers, rather than casting a vote.

The councillor, who was reelected, said he thought legalising same-sex marriage was “the right thing to do”, and that it was a “shame” that some voters may feel pushed away from the party for introducing the measure.

He said: “Some people wrote ‘No to gay marriage’ on the papers that I saw. I think that is a shame.

“I understand it is a big step for a lot of Conservatives and it may have pushed them away from the party but personally I am a supporter of gay marriage.

At the weekend, David Cameron, was urged by some within his own party to scrap the equal marriage bill, in an effort to attempt to win back voters who chose UKIP over his party in last week’s local elections.

The latest local election results show the Conservatives had lost control of nine councils – with UKIP making large gains, polling an average share of 25%. This success came in spite of a Tory Cabinet Minister dismissing UKIP as a “collection of clowns”.

Some had attributed Tory losses in the election to Cameron’s support for the bill.

The Leicestershire councillor continued: “I hope Cameron does not give in to the pressure and abandon this because it is the right thing to do.”