The essence of conservative philosophy goes something like this:
Human civilisation is a complex web of customs and traditions representing the accumulated wisdom of thousands of generations of our ancestors on how to live well in a harmonious society. Whenever liberals and/or reformers want to change those customs they contend they’re acting from good intentions for the betterment of all, but often they’re acting from selfish motives, and even if they’re not their changes can lead to disastrous unforeseen outcomes. Social change – especially to core institutions like marriage – should be gradual and organic, not imposed by politicians.
I don’t agree with that philosophy in general, and I totally disagree with it as applied to marriage equality – but it’s not an invalid argument and I think there’s a large constituency who would agree with it. So I do hope that the Conservative Party make it into Parliament next term. (Even if I spend the subsequent three years mocking them.)
If they do make it, it might be off the back of Louisa Wall’s Members Bill, which – now that the PM has backed it – is basically a done deal. This is a huge stroke of luck for Labour. Next time they’re in government there would have been huge pressure from many MPs and the party rank and file to pass this into law, and serious push-back from the factions of Labour reluctant to live through another version of the anti-smacking debate. Now they get to deliver to their base without wearing much backlash.