Who really is the best on gay rights?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few weeks, you’ll know that tomorrow (May 6th) is the UK general election, and it’s bound to be one of the most exciting election battles fought in decades.

I have already postal voted in both the Parliamentary and local elections, and have remained with the parties that I always vote for (Labour with a smattering of Greens). It’s been interesting to see all of the statistical figures and accusations being hocked about on various subjects, including gay rights, with people promising that they’ve changed, and others saying that they haven’t.

Indeed, you only need to look at the incredulous number of stories relating to homophobic comments made by the Tories and their right-wing newspaper counterparts that have come out in the last few weeks to see that, whilst perhaps Cameron may claim to have changed his views on gay rights, he really needs to clear out a lot of his party faithful if he wants to try to grasp any minute shred of political credibility on this subject.

Of course, I am not saying that every other party is completely liberal with their view points – far from it, there will be individual people who seek to undermine the advancement of gay rights in any political party (for whatever ‘reasons’), however, what cannot be denied is that when it comes to where it really counts, their voting records, ALL of the other parties are far and above the better alternatives to the Conservatives!

Stonewall recently published some statistics based on MP voting records on gay rights (source data is here). The source data is well worth checking out and downloading if you want an MP by MP account of their voting record.

A note explaining the source data, how points were awarded, and which votes on which pieces of legislation were considered (taken from Stonewall).

Working in Finance, as I do, it should come as no surprise that I’ve immediately taken all this data and have put it into a more manageable visual in order to highlight the results.

PARTY Average %
Labour 84.63
Labour/Cooperative 83.34
Plaid Cymru 81.00
Liberal Democrat 78.87
Scottish National Party 62.14
Sinn Féin 50.00
Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern 50.00
Respect  The Unity Coalition 50.00
Social Democratic and Labour Party 38.33
Ulster Unionist Party 36.00
Independent 35.83
Democratic Unionist Party 30.38
Conservative 21.34

I have also compiled a lowest/highest table so that you can get an idea of the voting range of MPs within the parties.

You will notice that, as I was discussing earlier, even in parties, such as Labour, who have large numbers of MPs voting for gay rights at 100%, there are still some MPs who only voted positively 14% of the time (admittedly, this is just the one ‘bad apple’ – see further down).

Once again, you will notice the Conservatives languishing at the bottom of the table, helped by Queen of Fashion, Eloquence and Hair, Ann Widecombe, and her atrocious 0% voting record for the advancement of gay rights.

PARTY LOWEST % HIGHEST %
Plaid Cymru 64 93
Sinn Féin 50 50
Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern 50 50
Respect  The Unity Coalition 50 50
Ulster Unionist Party 36 36
Social Democratic and Labour Party 36 43
Scottish National Party 29 86
Liberal Democrat 21 100
Labour/Cooperative 14 100
Labour 14 100
Independent 14 57
Democratic Unionist Party 14 50
Conservative 0 64

Finally, here’s a quick tally of percentages and how many MPs from each party have scored that at that voting percentage:

% & PARTY COUNT of MPs at this %
100% Total: 116
Labour 95
Labour/Cooperative 9
Liberal Democrat 11
93% Total: 89
Labour 68
Labour/Cooperative 6
Liberal Democrat 14
Plaid Cymru 1
86% Total: 64
Labour 50
Labour/Cooperative 4
Liberal Democrat 8
Plaid Cymru 1
Scottish National Party 1
83% Total: 1
Labour 1
79% Total: 46
Labour 32
Labour/Cooperative 4
Liberal Democrat 10
71% Total: 32
Labour 23
Labour/Cooperative 1
Liberal Democrat 6
Scottish National Party 2
64% Total: 26
Conservative 3
Labour 15
Labour/Cooperative 2
Liberal Democrat 3
Plaid Cymru 1
Scottish National Party 2
58% Total: 1
Labour 1
57% Total: 23
Conservative 4
Independent 1
Labour 16
Liberal Democrat 2
50% Total: 28
Conservative 5
Democratic Unionist Party 2
Independent 1
Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern 1
Labour 6
Labour/Cooperative 1
Liberal Democrat 5
Respect  The Unity Coalition 1
Scottish National Party 1
Sinn Féin 5
43% Total: 11
Conservative 5
Labour 5
Social Democratic and Labour Party 1
36% Total: 27
Conservative 17
Democratic Unionist Party 1
Independent 1
Labour 3
Labour/Cooperative 1
Liberal Democrat 1
Social Democratic and Labour Party 2
Ulster Unionist Party 1
29% Total: 34
Conservative 28
Democratic Unionist Party 2
Independent 2
Liberal Democrat 1
Scottish National Party 1
21% Total: 39
Conservative 33
Democratic Unionist Party 1
Labour 3
Liberal Democrat 2
17% Total: 1
Conservative 1
14% Total: 65
Conservative 60
Democratic Unionist Party 2
Independent 1
Labour 1
Labour/Cooperative 1
7% Total: 34
Conservative 34
0% Total: 2
Conservative 2

With voter turnout tomorrow expected to be around 65% (the flip side of this is that a massive 16 million eligible people may not vote!), it really is important that as many people as possible get out there and vote.

Yes, I appreciate that there are other issues to consider other than gay rights legislation, however, with some parties showing an absolutely horrendous voting record, and if this is something that’s important to you, please do the right thing, and avoid the Conservatives, who, as demonstrated both in these figures, and in recent news stories, are just as terrible as ever on this subject!

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About Gari

Thirty-Two year old northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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