The Tory party’s not for turning. Their funeral.

by Stephen Tall on February 9, 2013

Mark Thompson has been looking at the maths of this week’s Tory vote on same-sex marriage, and discovered that the party’s 2010 intake of MPs was more likely to vote against than those elected in the previous two elections this century:

David Cameron who took a clear lead on this issue has a big problem. The MPs that were elected in the general election where he led his party are more socially conservative than his contemporaries from the 2000s intakes. They seem to be getting more out of touch, not less.

This echoes the analysis of Philip Cowley and Mark Stuart, who point out:

At every one of the last three elections there have been claims about how the new intake of Conservative MPs would be more socially liberal, and shift the balance of power in the party. The reality has always been more mixed.

In a sense it’s not surprising: for many in the Conservative party their first instinct will be to conserve. It’s why many social liberals like myself who are also economic liberals can never imagine ourselves, even for a second, joining the Tories.

I won’t always agree with Tim Farron or Evan Harris, but I’d much rather disagree with them than with Dan Hannan or Peter Bone.