Nick Clegg named the most ‘gay friendly’ of party leaders

Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
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Nick Clegg is considered the most “gay-friendly” party leader - but the Liberal Democrats are struggling to turn that into votes, a poll found.

Research by PinkNews ranked him comfortably ahead of Labour’s Ed Miliband, Green Natalie Bennett and Tory Prime Minister David Cameron.

But there was bad news for Ukip’s Nigel Farage who was considered “extremely anti” by three-quarters of gay voters.

He was the only one seen by more people as homophobic than sympathetic to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) concerns.

LGBT issues have slipped down the agenda of gay voters - with the economy, the NHS and education all considered more important in choosing which party to back.

That is in some part due to the success in securing same-sex marriage - a reform which Mr Clegg was the first to back publicly.

But it might also help explain why his party has hemorrhaged gay votes - tumbling from 39% at the 2010 general election to just 16.9% now.

The main beneficiaries are the Green Party, whose support has soared from 3.8% to 16.5%, with the Tories also more than doubling backing from 10.4% to 23%.

Labour retain the lead on 31.1% (24.3% in 2010).

In another sign of the struggle the party faces north of the border, however, the proportion of gay voters in Scotland backing the SNP has risen from 18% to 43%.

And Mr Cameron - who personally championed same-sex marriage in the teeth of bitter opposition from Tory MPs and activists - is a more popular choice for Downing Street than Mr Miliband by 36.7% to 28.6%.