George Osborne last night placed same-sex marriage at the centre of the Toriesâ bid to win the next election.
Invoking the politics of Margaret Thatcher, the Chancellor urged his party to get in step with âpeople and how they want to live their livesâ if they wished to stay in power.
His call came in an analysis of why Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney in the US election despite rising unemployment and even polls suggesting that the Republican candidate was trusted more to turn the economy around.
Mr Osborne said that the Republicans had lost âswathes of votersâ because of their traditionalist positions on social issues.
His comments represent a break from conventional political wisdom about what wins elections summed up by the strategists behind Bill Clintonâs successful 1992 campaign: âItâs the economy, stupidâ.
He said the Republicansâ position on abortion had alienated women voters while Mr Obamaâs gamble on publicly endorsing gay marriage appeared to have paid off.