Opposition

600+ election candidates sign frack free promise

More than 600 would-be MPs have so far promised to oppose fracking, according to figures from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

The two groups have been asking general election candidates to sign the following frack free promise: “If my constituency is at risk of fracking, I will oppose it. If my constituency is not at risk, I will oppose fracking nationwide.”

Launched earlier this week, the promises had already attracted 631 signatures by this afternoon. In alphabetical order, the party breakdown is:

tableAn interactive map shows which constituencies have so far attracted the largest numbers of promises.

mapLeeds N, Brecon and Radnorshire and Carmarthen W and S Pembrokeshire lead the list, each with four candidates making the promise.

Constituencies with three candidates signing the promises include:

  • Bassetlaw
  • Bath
  • Beverley and Holderness
  • Bolton SE
  • Dwyfor Meirionnydd
  • Isle of Wight
  • Mid Dorset and North Poole
  • Mid Sussex
  • North Shropshire
  • Somerton and Frome
  • Thirsk and Malton
  • Totnes
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Wokingham
  • Worsley and Eccles S
  • Wythensaw, Eccles and Sale East

Fylde, which includes Cuadrilla’s proposed sites, and Salford, where IGas had a site at Barton Moss, each have two signatories so far.

Link to interactive map

7 replies »

  1. This is great! Very cheering, but I do not know why FOE/Greenpeace have not taken the nuclear waste NSIP and all the nuclear related aspects of fracking/UG up into consciousness. It may no longer be enough to have a promise that is limited explicitly to ‘fracking’.

  2. It’s a valuable public service for Greenpeace to have done this. It’s even more valuable for the shale industry as we’ll have the figures on May 9 to prove to the next Parliament what an utterly inconsequentia impact the anti Fracking movement had on the result. We can forget about the Green candidates since 2 – or less – might win. Few, if any, Labour or LibDem signatories will be signing the paperwork for their MP salary.
    Fracking as issue will be revealed as a non issue. Then we can go on and drill in the UK. Internationally we can do the important things in Paris in November, and we can leave coal in the ground and the “controversial” fracking meme about as relevant as Y2K

  3. Mr Greatly
    Don’t be so sure. Shale is a controversial issues that the politicians don’t want to deal with. They are damn if they do and damn if they don’t. The Green and campaigners are winning the battle so far. They are a force to be reckon with.

    • In the oil business, we say the drill bit is the greatest lie detector. In democracy, we have elections that serve the same purpose. The morning of May 9 will tell us more.

  4. Hi Tommy

    I cannot see that your interpretation is correct. The main parties all support or cautiously support fracking. After four years of death, doom, and gloom people have made their mind up enough so that the effort required by any MP to bring anyone currently on the ‘anti fracking’ side over to their respective party lines is beyond the available time and effort available to MPs this close to an election.

    We all know that fear sells. We also know that memes work cooperatively in meme complexes such that compatible ideas interact more favourably with other compatible ideas. The politicisation of fracking has split it down party lines. I don’t blame the Green party for using it as a jumping point to get votes (tactically it fits well with their current memeplex), but they must realise that it has also limited them in exactly the way we are seeing (they saw high growth uptake among members of similar belief with fracking, but growth was limited outside their belief system/memeplex). Fracking is split down party lines and just a few weeks away from a general election MPs are not about to try re-drawing those lines on issues where people have, as far as a few week deadline is concerned, already made up their minds.

    You can look at the way fracking has become split down these party lines as a major failure of the Green movement. They would really have needed to have kept fracking non-partisan, but have failed massively in this – likely due to the temptation of power in Westminster, through which anything like fracking can be used to get votes, but in doing so you obviously have to use it politically and if you do that you risk making it a partisan issue, which is exactly what has happened.

    As for the interpretation of this piece I strongly question the unscientific nature of its approach. Of course all Green candidates disagree with fracking. The Green party is also fielding as many candidates as it can this election. It doesn’t matter if that was 200 or 10,000. I can make a political party against Cheese and with enough money field 1000 anti cheese candidates, but it means precisely nothing unless people vote for them. The Green party is predicted to perhaps hold its one seat. Therefore the most accurate interpretation of the above table – the most scientific – is Nick Grealy’s.

    The headline should really be that all Green Party candidates, plus a few others, oppose fracking. That is something everyone must surely already know. Looking at the source (Greenpeace and FotE) it then becomes clear that this piece is just a writeup of a PR piece, but not one that has questioned its interpretation, just regurgitated it. Akin to all the PR pieces that get into the papers nowadays.

  5. One thing irritates me the most is that people who oppose shale gas they don’t seem to go and campaign against coal mining. Coal mining release of methane too. And polluted ground water. But no it is just shale gas that got the bully tactics from the protesters.

  6. This is out of date since now over 800 have signed. But since 540 are Green and whatever Socialist Worker call themselves these days, the impact will be as utterly inconsequential as the Mass Lobby of January was. One can argue whether politicians are stupid or not, but they can all count. The new class will see that the election campaign against fracking will mirror the impact of fracking: NOTHING HAPPENS.

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