Nearly a third of British voters said they would be less likely to vote for candidates who backed fracking in their own constituencies, according to a poll released today.
The ComRes survey for Greenpeace UK found that the figure was highest for Lib Dems voters, 41% of whom would be less likely to support a pro-fracking candidate. This compared with 34% of Labour voters, 26% of UKIP and 22% of Conservatives.
Almost a quarter of Lib Dem voters (23%) said they would be much less likely to vote for a candidate that supported fracking. Among other party supporters this figure was: Labour 20%, UKIP 16% and Conservative 10%.
Overall, 13% of participants in the survey said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate that supported fracking. This ranged from 17% for Conservative voters, 16% of UKIP, 15% for Lib Dem and 13% for Labour. Only 4% of Labour and Lib Dem voters were much more likely to vote for a pro-fracking candidate, compared with 7% for Conservative and UKIP voters.
Overall, 44% said it would make no difference who they voted for and 12% said don’t know.
Impact on election?
Greenpeace said the poll showed fracking could have a significant impact on the outcome of the election. At least 35 of the seats targeted by the Tory 40:40 election strategy were in areas licensed for fracking, the organisation said.
Nearly 20 more constituencies that Labour and the Lib Dems would hold with a swing of 2% or less are also licensed for fracking.
Greenpeace’s energy and climate campaigner, Sam Pearse said: “Fracking is proving such a huge turn-off for voters that backing this industry would be nothing less than political suicide for many candidates in key marginal seats.”
The survey showed people were less likely to vote for pro-fracking candidates in Scotland (43% of those surveyed), followed by south west England (36%) and eastern England.
People were most likely to vote for pro-fracking candidates in north east England (19%) and London (18%).
Fracking is more likely to have no impact in Yorkshire and Humberside (51% of those surveyed) and north west England (49%).
Women and men
Women are less likely than men to vote for a pro-fracking candidate. 35% of women questioned said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate that supported fracking locally, compared with 28% of men.
18% of men said they were more likely to vote for a fracking supporter, compared with 8% of women.
Fracking is less likely to have an impact on voting intentions for men than women, while women are more likely to say they don’t know whether it would have an impact.
Age and work type
People aged 35-44 and 55-64 were least likely to vote for a pro-fracking candidate (36% and 41% of those surveyed). People aged 25-34 and 65+ were most likely to vote for a fracking supporter (19% and 16%).
People in a public sector job said they were both more and less likely to vote for a pro-fracking candidate than people working in the private sector. Fracking was less likely to have an impact on voting for people working in the private sector than those in the public sector.
Support and opposition to fracking
The poll found that 42% of those questioned supported fracking in the UK, compared with 35% who were opposed. 23% of those who took part said they didn’t know. As with other polls, men were more likely than women to support fracking and women were more likely than men to be undecided.
More Conservative voters and UKIP voters supported fracking (58% for both) than Labour (36%) and Lib Dem (46%). Labour voters were more likely to oppose fracking (42%) than supporters of other parties.
- ComRes interviewed 2,035 British adults online between 20th and 22nd March 2015. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Link to complete dataset
More than 800 general election candidates have so far signed the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth frack-free pledge. This afternoon, the figures stood at: