PinkNews poll: Nick Clegg named most gay-friendly leader, but party support collapses

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been named the most gay friendly party leader by PinkNews readers – but support for the Lib Dems has plummeted.

  • Nick Clegg has been named the most gay-friendly party leader, despite a collapse in LGBT support for the Lib Dems
  • Labour overtakes the Liberal Democrats to become the most popular party for LGBT voters. Support for the Greens has also surged
  • Despite strong support for Labour, and Clegg’s strong support for gay rights, PinkNews readers still want David Cameron to be Prime Minister after 2015

In its annual political poll, PinkNews has found that regardless of the party that they will vote for in 2015, LGBT voters consider the Lib Dem leader to be the most gay friendly.

PinkNews readers were asked to rank each of the main party leaders on their LGBT friendliness from anti-gay rights to very pro.

Mr Clegg received the most positive scores, followed by Ed Miliband in second place, Green party leader Natalie Bennett third, David Cameron in fourth and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon in fifth place.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage was the only party leader that more people said was homophobic than pro-equality for gay people – with a massive 94% of readers labelling him either moderately or extremely anti-LGBT.

A spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister told PinkNews: “Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are incredibly proud of what we have done to create a fairer society with the introduction of equal marriage.

“That was something the Nick Clegg fought hard for in government and we are now seeing gay couples across many parts of the UK declaring their love for each other with full recognition of the law. That is an achievement Liberal Democrats are extremely proud of.”

Despite the leader receiving personal recognition for his work on gay rights issues, support for his party as a whole has dropped significantly since 2010, when PinkNews polling found it to be the most popular choice among gay voters.

While 39% of those polled said they voted Lib Dem in 2010, just 16.9% intend to vote for Clegg’s party in 2015. Labour has seen a growth in support from 24.3% in 2010 to 31.1% today – becoming the most popular party for LGBT voters.

However, the prime beneficiary from the decline in support for the Lib Dems is the Greens, who have seen their support grow within the community from 3.8% in 2010 16.5% today.

Support for the Conservatives has also more than doubled from 10.4% in 2010 to 23% today, while SNP support among Scottish gay voters has grown from 18% in 2010 to 43% today.

Just 1.62% of LGBT voters say they will vote UKIP, up from 0.2% in 2010. UKIP is the only UK wide party which officially opposed equal marriage in England and Wales.

Despite a poor showing for the Conservatives as a party, when readers were asked which party leader they would prefer to be be Prime Minister after 2015, David Cameron took a lead over all his opponents.

36.7% of PinkNews readers want Cameron to remain Prime Minister, while 28.6% would rather see Miliband in charge, 17.1% Clegg, 15.7% Bennett and 1.84% Farage.

Mr Cameron was significantly more popular than his party with gay voters – likely because 84.6% of gay voters said that they would vote against their local MP if they voted against the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act.

A majority of Conservative MPs voted against the measure, despite Cameron’s vocal support for equal marriage.

LGBT voters said that the economy would be their prime consideration when deciding how to vote in 2015, followed by health policy and education.

With the battle for marriage equality already won, LGBT policies would only be their fourth most important consideration when making their vote.

PinkNews polled 980 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults from across the UK (including a demographically-weighted panel of 350 voters who have been tracked since 2010) between December 23 and 27.