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Does ComRes really show Cameron losing a million votes and 30 seats over the threatened ‘gay marriage’ law? If we could prove that, we’d be home and dry

We need to be able to demonstrate what we claim. Otherwise we’ll just be ignored

By on Thursday, 3 May 2012

(PA photo)

(PA photo)

“The Conservative party risks losing Christian votes if it goes ahead with legalising gay marriage, a recent survey conducted by ComRes, on behalf of Premier Christian Media Trust, has shown. More than half of respondents (57 per cent) say they would be less likely to vote Conservative.” That’s how Comres gives the headline findings of the poll it carried out for Premier on a sample of around 500. It has also carried out a poll for Catholic Voices, which on a larger sample (2,000) found that

Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman, and more than eight out 10 think children have the best chance in life when raised by their biological parents, the ComRes online survey of more than 2,000 people found. The poll also found that people think the state should promote marriage, and that most people support the idea of civil partnerships.

“The results show that most people support the idea of civil partnerships for gay people while being firm that marriage should remain between a man and a woman,” said Austen Ivereigh, Catholic Voices coordinator. “The survey also shows that most people understand marriage to be a conjugal institution, which benefits children above all.”

The poll found “overwhelming” (84 per cent) support for marriage’s benefits to children raised by their biological parents, as well as strong majority support for marriage being promoted by the state. Pink News responded to this with a simple slur: that ComRes had conducted a “dodgy” poll, and quoted a Stonewall activist as saying that this suggested that “they’re worried they’re losing the argument”. ComRes demanded that Pink News remove this allegation and they did so immediately.

Well, I think we all knew that there was strong public opposition to “gay marriage”; but so what? Cameron was going to go ahead with it anyway, gambling that Tory voters wouldn’t actually desert him over it. But, according to Protect the Pope, the ComRes poll done for Premier shows that they will indeed desert him: “An opinion poll carried out by ComRes has found that PM Cameron’s plans to legalise homosexual marriage by 2015 could lose the Conservative party 1 million votes at the next election, and up to 30 seats in the Commons. For every disaffected Tory supporter attracted back to the party, it loses almost three because of its stance on the issue.” It could be that the source for this understanding of the figures comes from an analysis carried out by Christian Voice, the website of the Christian Institute, which says that “An analysis of the polling figures shows that the Tories stand to lose anywhere between eight and 30 Parliamentary seats, and could lose more than 1.1 million votes in a general election.”

The thing is that I couldn’t find any trace of this analysis in the actual ComRes poll, and this is unfortunate, since if we can actually convince Cameron himself that he really could lose that many seats (quite enough to put little Miliband into Downing Street) we might squeeze a U-turn out of him: he’s done it often enough before when he saw himself as being threatened by one of his own blunders (there’s going to be a sly U-turn, quite clearly, over the charitable giving of the rich). But ComRes doesn’t actually say it, and nor does Premier, so far as I can see, nor does Catholic Voices. So, Christian Voice – can we have the basis of your analysis? I’m not saying it’s wrong, not at all, just that I (who am absolutely innumerate in my old age, I got an A level in maths over 50 years ago, but it’s all gone now and I’m just a fuddled old man when it comes to numbers), I seem to be missing something. The actual figures can be found here.

There must be something else. Could you (or someone else) explain it to me?

Meanwhile, it is worthwhile reiterating that both polls really do show very heavy opposition indeed to this proposed change, and from all age groups. I know it was in the manifesto of both parties to the coalition: but everyone knows that all kinds of stuff gets through that way, hiding behind the major issues. Most Tory voters, if they noticed it (it wasn’t, as I remember, prominently reported) would have thought it was just part of the rebranding of the Tory Party (get us, just look how modern we are) but that it would never actually come to anything. This is how Pink News glumly reported the Catholic Voices Poll:

Support for continuing to bar gay couples from marriage was high among all age groups, at odds with many opinion polls which have showed more support for marriage equality among younger generations.

In the 18-24 age group, 66 per cent said they wanted marriage to remain between a man and a woman only. Eighty-one per cent of those above the age of 65 were in favour of retaining exclusively straight marriage.

Support was highest (81 per cent) among married people and lowest (53 per cent) among those cohabiting. Single and widowed correspondents favoured straight marriage by 60 and 71 per cent respectively.

The least support for maintaining the bar on gay marriage came from Scotland, at 63 per cent, where a public consultation on marriage equality finished in December.

Eighty-four per cent agreed children “have the best chance in life if raised by their own mother and father in a stable, committed relationship” and support generally slightly higher among people with children than those without.

Dr Austen Ivereigh, coordinator of Catholic Voices, said: “Our poll shows that the Government has no mandate to alter an institution which lies at the foundation of our society.”

We must just plug away at it. If you haven’t voted in the Coalition for Marriage petition (they didn’t make their half million by Monday target, but they will soon), do it now.

As I write, they’re up to 491,368. Nearly there; then on.

  • Cestius

    I get the impression that Cameron now believes what the poll is saying, hence his recent attempts to pay lip service to Christianity.  But it is only appeasement on his part, he fears the outcry from the pink lobby and the liberal elite should he go back on his commitment to same sex “marriage”, and hopes that the protests from Christians (and Muslims and traditional minorities) will die away. Don’t expect him to back down.

  • JabbaPapa

    First copy from Pink News that I’ve ever enjoyed reading !!

    Thumbs up !!!

  • Richelieu

    Cameron should learn the art of keeping things of the agenda. Now that he is committed to introducing gay marriage, it is politically difficult for him to go back on it. However, he could at least ensure that it is a free vote and hope the House of Lords shoots it down.

  • Andrew

    Hello????  The current 470,000 anti-gay marriage signatures represent, with reference to the current UK population, 0.65% of the population….  Yes, less than 1% and significantly so.  Doesn’t that teach all you homophobes a little something?  And the 470,000 are self-selecting and thus entirely representative of the UK people view in addition!  1000 signatures werre presented to the Scottish Government.  Ahem.  The current pop[ulation of Scotland is estimated as 5.25 Million……. 

    Some people are gay and want to get married:  get over it!  99.35% of the UK population have apparently done so, time for the hateful Catholics to do so too I think.

    And we will have religious ceremonies too very soon….  As the Evangelical Anglicans leave the Established Church due to their misogny and that section of the High Church which is anti-gay and anti-women also leave due to the women bishops inevitability, the remaining Church of England will be a very diffgerent animal, indeed, it is will be far more welcoming to gay people and far more pro-gay marriage.  This will translate into a differently constituted General Synod which will, in time, ask Parliament to allow the religious marriage of gay people in church.  Parliament will hardly object, having by that point pushed through the gay civil marriage legislation.  Then we will see designated churches within given dioceses set aside for gay marrriages.  And then, after a few years, religious marriages in church between gay people becoming the nom, just as gay civil partnership has become.

    A collective King Canute comes to mind when one looks at the usual self-selecting Catholic response.  And what else?  A conintuing exodus of young people from the Catholic Church as has very recently been quantiified and commented upon by the Church Herslf – one major reason being the Church’s horrific position on gay people. 

  • JByrne24

    My immediate thought concerns whether the actual question(s) asked was(were) designed by ComRes or  the Premier Christian Media Trust. The poll too seems a small one, with 540 (I think) individuals polled. 

    But more significant than these matters is the fact that a change of policy by Mr Cameron would really be an “own-goal” for the Christian organisations which have taken this political stance.
    Any realistic possible alternative to Mr Cameron as Prime Minister, and any other government under either Labour or the LibDem Party, or a coalition dominated by one of these Parties, would hold views at least as strong, and almost certainly stronger, than Mr Cameron’s.

  • JabbaPapa

    Reality check : Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman.

  • MACCABEUS2

    “Homophobe, homophobe, homophobe…” – Yawn, yahboo, what a drag what a bore, what a bore what a drag… Try varying your abusive epithets, it’s so terribly boring hearing the same knee-jerk tri-syllabic trotted out every time someone in favour of gay marriage tries to make his case. Not to mention the fact that plodding rhetoric and ad hominem attacks constitute the lowest form of argument and are singularly ineffective when it comes to persuading anyone about anything.

  • JByrne24

    “Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman.”

    I believe this too, but I also believe that it should not only be this.

    Marrying a good Catholic woman in a Catholic Church with our really good Parish Priest, near the start of the 1970s, was the best thing I ever did.

    Marriage can be a wonderful thing. Gay people should be able to enjoy it.  I’m totally convinced that God wishes this too.

  • JByrne24

    Richelieu, there’s a name !
    Your namesake’s “partner”: Jacqueline Pascal wasn’t it? (Sister of Blaise ? 
    whose initials you can find in almost any garage).

    Large portrait in the National Gallery – obviously not a man from whom to buy a 2nd-hand car (and definitely not a Gay Cardinal).

  • http://twitter.com/stephenjgray Stephen Gray

    Check Pink News now for some more (though I can’t promise you’ll enjoy it).

  • Recusant

    What word, then, would you use to describe the life-long relationship entered into for the purposes of conceiving and raising children?

  • http://twitter.com/PewFodderBlog Pew Fodder
  • annodomini6

    You are so deluded. I shall pray for you and ask The Lord to forgive you for
    the blasphemy you uttered. This means an extra Rosary for me tonight. I hope
    you know that one day you will be accountable for your words and actions. If the word of God states that “every careless word uttered will have to be
    accounted for” far less such a sacrilegious blasphemy.

  • Scyptical Chymist

     The perceived outcome of a marriage is the procreation of children. This may or may not happen but in a normal marriage this is always possible though other factors may intervene. How is this possible with two persons of the same sex?  Yes there can be love – but not marriage. As for the expression of this love then we must follow Christian teaching if  we wish to be identified as Christians.  We cannot assume our own interpretation of what God wishes.

  • JabbaPapa

    Here we go again with your open rebellion against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

    You *do* realise that you are openly preaching ideas that are in direct contradiction with infallible doctrine ? And that it is forbidden for Catholics to do so, under pain of automatic excommunication ?

    Hint : Rebellion is the opposite of Religion.

  • JabbaPapa

    The warning was unnecesary, I would have refrained from going there anyway, of my own initiative.

    Thanks I guess, though ….

  • teigitur

    How many are on the “Gay Marriage” petition?  In double figures yet?

  • teigitur

    Ah, so those horrid Nuns gave you ( amongst other things) a God – complex.  Your education was not a total failure then. You knowing what God thinks and stuff. First rate entertainment!

  • teigitur

    Your delusions are boundless.

  • Jonathan West

    I can tell you in what way the Christian Voice presentation is misleading. ComRes weren’t prepared to hide it, and on their website they state that  “ComRes surveyed 544 UK Christians on Cpanel between 25th and 31st October 2011 by online questionnaire”. So, the poll wasn’t a poll of a representative sample of the population in general, it was a poll of the subset who identified themselves as Christian.

    We don’t have the question by which the divided the sample into Christian and non-Christian, but we can gain an idea of the proportion of the sample excluded if we look at another ComRes poll from February 2010, in which they were looking at a breakdown of voting intentions by religion. In that poll, the “weighted base” was 1085, including 674 Christian, 71 Muslim, 37 Other and 291 No religion.

    The Christian portion of the sample is further broken down by “Importance of religious beliefs”, being 333 Little Importance, 203 Some importance and 127 Great importance.

    To get the most dramatically adverse figures, I suspect that Christian Voice requested a sample only of Christians who considered their religion to be of “Some importance” or “Great importance”. That is only 21% of the overall weighted sample.

    And then Christian Voice misleadingly presented this as representing the views of the population as a whole, and extrapolated this into overall voting intentions in order to try and scare Cameron into withdrawing the gay marriage bill. 

    This was a remarkably stupid move and thoroughly dishonest. First of all, anybody with the most basic understanding of statistics and five spare minutes to research the matter can work out what happened. It is perfectly clear that Christian Voice have joined the club informally known as “Liars for Jesus”.

    Second, they imagined that the move would scare Cameron off, as if the government didn’t do its own private polling on the subject. of course they do, and it will have been carried out on a representative sample of the whole population. So Cameron knew perfectly well that the Christian Voice numbers were entirely bogus and he didn’t need to worry about them.

  • Oconnord

    Thanks for that, I could smell the rat.. but I just couldn’t stab it down. I got as far as seeing the breakdown were all christian denominations. 

    The other survey was already mocked and dismissed on this site as it drew conclusions as to people’s views about gay marriage. Despite the fact that it didn’t ask a single question about the subject. 

  • Oconnord

    Mate that’s a mistake…. I’ll be running off to sign one:)

  • Oconnord

    I don’t understand why excommunication is considered a threat.
    The church has made it clear that you are still a catholic even if excommunicated. On paper you are denied the sacraments, but if you worried about that… well you wouldn’t have got yourself excommunicated in the firstplace. As to an actual refusal to be given communion, well you could walk into a different church and receive it in your own “good faith”. If you don’t agree with the validity of the church enough to rely on it’s word, it’s easy to just ignore it’s other words.

  • Charles Martel

    “Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman”. Get over it. Years of pink propaganda has only managed to confuse a small minority into thinking that they’d better support the oxymoronic ‘homosexual marriage’ cause as otherwise they will be shunned by sophisticated enlightened (i.e. degenerate) society.

  • JabbaPapa

    What “threat” ??? — Pointing out that some actions undertaken by someone in the past will have put that person out of Communion is not a threat.

    Also, if you are aware of being excommunicatio for whatever reason, the appropriate response  isn’t to just ignore it or go elsewhere — which would simply constitute an aggravating factor — the appropriate response is to discuss it with your Confessor.

    Finally, excommunicated people cannot receive communion, the sacrament is very simply not received (even if they take the bread and the wine) by people who are out of Communion with the Church. Acts of rebellion do not change this sacramental fact.

  • teigitur

    Sadly, or not, it wont be allowed Damo. You must have a postcode on the adjacent larger island.

  • teigitur

    BTW The 1000 signatures in Scotland were just from a couple of Catholic Churches in Nicola Sturgeons constituancy. Try to get your facts straight!

  • teigitur

    No reason why you would understand Damo.

  • Daniel_Borsell

     Yes, protests from Catholics and Muslims – not much difference between the two really. Both try to validate their religion and beliefs by the same means.
    It seems incredible that these huge organisations, based on superstitious mumbo jumbo can hold so much sway in the 21st century.

  • Andrew

    I see, I see….  So if 7/10 people believe in the genderisation of marriage other than understanding it as a commitment (lifelong or otherwise) between two PERSONS, then why have we not seen the anti-gay marriage petition rise above 0.65%?  Well, clearly, 7/10 people (I dispute this figure, that gross quantification is based on highly unreliable data in terms of validated population sampling methodology) CLEARLY do not believe such a proposition strongly.  As for the fellow Catholic who believes that opposition to the Church’s outdated views is a position contrary to infallible teaching, may I remind him/her that such matters have never been codified in accordance with the formula for infallibility.  They do not derive from infallible teaching, but from the ordinary Magisterium.  Yes, they are therefore powerful teachings, but they are not immutable and they are therefore subject to change.  And change they will have to do.  That change will be brought about by Rome’s gradual and incremental wthdrawal from typical comment and re-iteration, so that the matter of homosexuality and gay civil marriage (etc) becomes ignored rather than refuted or changed (cf situation now in Spain and Portugal).  That is, as the history of the Church shows us, the usual way Rome deals with things when it realises it is wrong or simply can’t win against the forces of social progress (!).  Women’s ordination is a good example.  Many people think that JPII’s statement was infallible.  It was not.  The clarification from CDF that followed after it was asked if the Statement was infallible was answered in the negative.  Rome is very clever, she knows how to modify and cover her tracks as and when necessary, that is why she has lasted so long.  Just sit back and see the same thing unfold over gay marriage…..

  • Andrew

    Oh, I didn’t see Oddie’s last line…  It appears, then, that he is aiming for 1% as opposed to 0.65%!  Dear, dear…….  

  • Andrew

    In the UK, we generally adopt US principles after a while, so take a look at this, reported recently, by Catholicculture.org  :

    CWN – April 26, 2012
    From Our Store: Moral Issues (eBook)
    Opposition to same-sex marriage in the US is rapidly diminishing, according to a new Pew Research study.
    In 2004 a solid majority of Americans (60%) were opposed to same-sex marriage, and the number strongly opposed (36%) easily outweighed those who were strongly in favor (11%). By 2012 the number of those opposing same-sex marriage (43%) was slightly less than the number in favor (47%), with those strongly opposed only matching those strongly in favor (22%).
    In 2004, Pew found that 60% of American respondents opposed same-sex marriage, with 36% saying that they were strongly opposed. By 2008 the figures had dropped to 51% opposed, and 30% strongly. This year’s survey found only 43% opposed, and just 22% strongly.
    Catholic respondents were slightly less likely than other Americans to oppose same-sex marriage. In 2004, 55% of Catholics were opposed, and 28% strongly. By 2012 those figures had dropped to 42% and 17%. Protestants were more likely than Catholics to oppose same-sex marriage. In the 2012 poll, 56% of Protestants were opposed, and 32% strongly. The figures of white Evangelical Protestants were even more adverse for same-sex marriage, with on overwhelming 78% opposed, and 56% strongly.
    The same Pew survey, touching on some of the more controversial issues on the American political scene, found a rise in public support for the rights of gun owners, while attitudes regarding legal abortion remains fundamentally unchanged.

  • AJ

    Andrew, the Catholic’s stance on marriage will never change, because to teach otherwise would be contrary to our nature as humans. Gay ‘marriage’ makes absolutely no sense in regards to biology or theology, and the institution of marriage itself predates any religion. So, the Church will never change its view because the Church has no right to change the order of nature. It would be like trying to convince someone that 2+2=5. You have every right to disagree with 2+2=4, but your not going to ever see the Catholic Church teach that 2+2=5. The only way the Church will be silenced is through state control of religious freedom and free speech, which, by the way, has happened numerous times in Her history, and guess what buddy, the Church is still alive and strong. 

  • teigitur

    How many on the other petition Andrew? Or would you rather not say, as its painfully small?

  • karlf

    2+2 doesn’t equal 5, but homosexuality has been observed in animals i.e. nature. It might make no sense to you that this occurs, but evolution produces all sorts of apparent irregularities. It’s the way God made it, so praise his work!

  • AJ

    God made people who are sexually attracted to children, so does that make it good?? God made them that way, so why is it wrong? Answer: its disordered. God made people who addicted to eating, so why is it bad for you? Answer: its disordered. I could go on and on using that logic. Also, just because two ‘adults’ can have ‘consensual’ actions does not make it right.

  • karlf

    “Also, just because two ‘adults’ can have ‘consensual’ actions does not make it right.” – I’m glad you also recognise the flaw in your argument.
    When you consider how God is currently allowing millions of children, all over the world to suffer horribly, and for many years, from hunger, abuse, disease and other preventable afflictions, why should he give a fig about gay men getting married?

  • AJ

    I don’t get your point, unless you agree that that logic is flawed when trying to justify homosexual acts. I was not using that logic to justify my argument, I was recognizing the flaw because thats a common argument for homosexuality; two consenting adults. To your second point… why wouldn’t he care about gay men getting married? Both things you bring up are disordered in his design of creation, and he wants his creation to live in ordered harmony. So, when a culture is trying to say gay men should be allowed to get married, we natural law followers are all like ‘whaaaaaaat?’ That doesn’t follow the design of nature. Rebel against nature and nature will rebel against you (and the culture). And marriage is a natural institution. Do not mess with it.

  • karlf

     “he wants his creation to live in ordered harmony” Really? He looks on as terrified, lonely children suffer all sorts horrific atrocities on a daily basis. He watches  the unimaginable suffering of millions, but cares what we think about two adults sharing a loving relationship?
    Do not mess with it indeed

  • Oconnord

    So the question is which of my previous addresses/postcodes would I use?

    Of course I wouldn’t as it would be dishonest. Although my point was that I didn’t even know there was such a petition before you mentioned it.

  • teigitur

    I knew what your point was, Damo.

  • AJ

    Yes, he absolutely does. Wouldn’t you? Do you realize how much charity and mission work is done in impoverished countries in the name of God??? He cares about the lives of those poor children as much as he cares about your life and my life. Why are you sitting here griping about God not doing anything for those children when God gave you the ability to go help them yourself (assuming you have that ability). Do you remember Mother Theresa? Imagine the world without her and her fellow sisters!! She responded to God’s intense desire to care for the sick and hungry. Now, as far as God caring about two men or two women thinking they can marry… well, he cares as much as he cares about kids not being subjected to their parents divorcing because of the harmful effects it has on the kids. 

  • Zach

    2+2=5 for large values of 2…

  • AJ

    So 2 pennies plus 2 pennies equals 5 pennies? 

  • karlf

    Imagine you had the power that, in the flick of a switch, you could stop a child from being regularly raped by a relative. What sort of monster would you be to not use this power??

    God sees this sort of suffering millions of times over and does nothing – He does nothing at all. Can you not even try to imagine the scale of the situation? 

  • Parasum

    The currency is devalued. Since excommunication does not cut one off from the Church, & since the Church has not yet got round to making excommuniocates wear distinctive clothing, or even an E branded on the forehead; & since excommunication has precious little to do with breaches of morality – it no longer meand much. The only people whom it will bother are those who identify the CC with God or Christianity.

    For all practical purposes, re-married divorce[e]s are excommunicated. The practical effects are identical.

    “As to an actual refusal to be given communion, well you could walk into a different church and receive it in your own “good faith”. If you don’t agree with the validity of the church enough to rely on it’s word, it’s easy to just ignore it’s other words.”

    ## Precisely. It’s a farce. Especially since Popes & other bishops now routinely do things which would in living memory have had bishops & all lesser fry excommunicated. That speaks volumes. It has nothing to do with justice, everything to do with power: something the Church has never freely surrendered. It has had to be fought every inch of the way.

  • Parasum

    “Do you remember Mother Theresa?”

    ## Oh, yes – the nun whose idea of relieving suffering was to let people carry on suffering.

    Thanks, but Doctors Without Borders do much better work; and they don’t have totemic status either.

    By Susan Shields, a former Missionary of Charity:

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/shields_18_1.html

    Also several paragraphs from this:

    http://www.ahealedplanet.net/racket.htm

    ## At the very least, it seems her methods left a good deal to be desired.

  • aearon43

    This is a good example of the kind of strategy the left uses on these sort of issues. Very rarely will they offer a substantive counter-argument. Rather they will tell you that your position is “offensive” and therefore should not be permitted to be spoken. This avoids altogether the question of whether it is actually wrong — the left takes that as axiomatic.

    Similarly, the response of the left to the question of calling homosexual couples “marriage” is rarely to argue for any real advantage of that position, aside from saying that homosexuals want it, and asserting that they have a “right” to it (but that “right” is exactly what’s at issue). As the post above does, they will usually refer to some supposedly inevitable and unstoppable historical trend or force that is simply going to happen. They believe in this sort of Hegelian historical spirit like a religion (or a cult).

    So having taken as an article of faith that “gay marriage” will happen, there is no need to engage in arguments as to whether it, actually, ought to happen or not. In their mind, they only need to inform those not quite as “up-to-date” about what will obviously happen; that would be like arguing about the morality of the laws of physics. We are exhorted to get on the “right side of history” and so forth.

    The arrogance here is, of course, staggering, and it may be enough to point this out enough to defeat “gay marriage.” Outlining the historical connections of social acceptance of homosexuality to cultural decadence and decline (as in ancient Rome), as well as clearly defining the strengths of the time-tested Christian view of marriage, sex, and family is a good idea also.

  • aearon43

    Homosexuality has not however been observed to produce children.

  • Charles Martel

    He DOES bother about it. This we know, because the Church teaches us that it offends him. In fact sodomy is a sin ‘crying to heaven for vengeance’.