Friday, 16 April 2010

Clegg for PM?

Surely the unthinkable couldn’t happen…Liberal Democrats to lead the country? Last night Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib-Dems ‘won’ the first ever televised leader debate and is proving popular amongst the instant polls.

Our online results see over 50% of you swaying towards the Lib-Dems in what could see a shocking outcome in the General Election in May.

In our recent ‘sex’ edition, we interviewed each of the leaders on their LGBT policies and obviously Clegg hit all the right buttons.

Speaking about the issue of civil partnerships, Clegg said: “ I don’t quite understand why we don’t just all grow up and call civil partnerships marriage.”

Great news you might think. However, on 14 April, when the Lib-Dems released their manifesto this detail was left out, leaving the LGBT community out in the cold.

Clegg’s party did however promise lots of things to the community. Included in the manifesto were the assurances of more LGBT MPs in Parliament, broadening the rights of transgendered people, getting tough on hate crime and ending deportation of LGBT people to countries where they will face discrimination.

Bullying in schools is high on the agenda for Clegg who said to DIVA: “I think there needs to be a statutory obligation on all schools to have anti-homophobic bullying policies in place. That’s where I would place the biggest priority – by a long way.”

The potential leaders battled it out on issues including immigration, crime, national debt, the NHS and education on television last night.

It seems as though Clegg is promising good things to all as he consistently came out on top in instant polls by Channel 4, YouGov and ITV. Things are looking glum for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose results were decidedly lacklustre.

Speaking to DIVA magazine, Brown said: “I’ve always made absolutely clear my support for the repeal of section 28 and my support for civil partnership.”

Brown does sit fairly well the LGBT community, however our online results see him getting just 30% of the vote, just over half that of the Lib-Dems.

Conservative leader David Cameron, who asked to ‘stop for a second’ during his interview with DIVA, has a meagre 5% of the votes as his policies on LGBT issues are way behind those of his competition.

“The Conservatives are on a journey,” said Cameron, who is continually um-ing and err-ing on all gay issues. Speaking about IVF treatment [his party voted for the requirement of a father figure], the Tory leader said: “It was not voting against IVF or lesbians…we haven’t got any plans to change it”

Cameron needs to do a lot more if he is to win the vote of the LGBT community.

Personally, I’m pleased that Clegg has made this more of a three horse race. It’s always good to see the underdog come through and perhaps, with a little luck on his way; we’ll see Prime Minister Nick Clegg come May.

By Rosie Blackwell-Sutton


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