Third Cheshire survey opposes fracking


The majority of people surveyed in a town in Cheshire have come out against fracking.

According to a report released recently, more than three-quarters of adults surveyed in Frodsham, near Runcorn, said they thought fracking would be a bad thing.

Similar surveys carried out in Mickle Trafford and Guilden Sutton, near Chester, have produced comparable results (DrillOrDrop report).

In the Frodsham survey:

  • 77.7% said they thought fracking would be a bad thing
  • 9.1% said they thought fracking would be a good thing
  • 13.2% did not know or did not have an opinion.


The Frodsham survey found that women were more opposed to fracking than men (80.9% compared with 74.7%). It also found that people in younger age groups were more opposed than older people. The highest proportion of people who didn’t know or didn’t give an opinion were in the 75+ age group.

Frodsham is in exploration licence area PEDL294, held by INEOS Upstream. In May last year, the company held a meeting for local councillors (DrillOrDrop report) but so far DrillOrDrop is not aware of any public events.


Source: UK Online Geophysical Library

In response to the survey findings, Frack Free Dee said:

“Ascertaining public opinion through a survey, and insisting on democratic representation through our local councillors and MP, is a critical step in opposing the development of fracking in our area.”

It described as “astounding” the proportion of people who didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.

“It is fair to say then that the community engagement, of which the fracking industry appears to be so proud of, is drastically lacking and therefore has effected the ability of a significantly high proportion of the residents questioned to respond in an informed and considered fashion.”

We have asked for a response from INEOS and will update this post with any comment.

INEOS is a partner with IGas in the neighbouring licence area, PEDL189, which includes Mickle Trafford and Guilden Sutton.

The Mickle Trafford survey found that 81.7% thought fracking would be a bad thing, 6.5% a bad thing and 11.80% didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.


In Guilden Sutton, 76.3% through fracking would be a bad thing, 9.2% a good thing and 14.5% didn’t know or didn’t have an opinion.


Survey details

The Frodsham survey was conducted by Frack Free Frodsham and Helsby and analysed by Fusion Data Science

The results were released on 23 January 2017 and presented to a meeting of Frodsham Town Council that day.

1,500 questionnaires were distributed at random in the Frodsham Town Council area

917 questionnaires were completed and collected/returned (61.1%), of which 47 were blank, spoiled or ambiguous, leaving a valid total of 870 (58%).

The questionnaires indicated the views of 1,587 adults out of an estimated population in 2014 of 7,814

Counting was conducted by local residents at the offices of Frodsham Town council on 22 October 2016 and supervised by two councillors and Fusion Data Science Ltd

The results of a survey in Helsby, carried out at the same time as the Frodsham poll, will be reported separately.

6 replies »

  1. And why are any of these surveys relevant at this juncture? We know that people have formed an opinion on fracking based on the fraudulent propaganda peddled by FoE and others. So, should we expect that public opinion would be anything other than anti-shale gas?

    • The survey appears to be unbiased in exactly the way that the pro shale for Lancashire survey is not. This survey questionnaire is open and simple and all were invited to join in and reply, I can not see anything wrong with the questions nor the independence of how it was received and handled. I really cannot see anything to object to, regardless of the results, nore can I see why there are the negative responses above.

  2. Seems a little odd to ask for opinions from people and admit that it is being done BEFORE any public consultation from the company concerned. I suppose it gives a baseline, as long as it is remembered that at the time it was established, it is significantly an uninformed one (no disrespect to the locals but any area I am familiar with-apart from those where the issue is “live”-would struggle to find more than a handful who had any knowledge of the subject, to form an opinion.)
    Trouble with this style of survey, and you see it regularly on TV, people are asked to give their views on things like the Single Market and the majority will not admit they do not have a clue what is being asked, and give an answer they think is expected. I say this as someone who has sat down with many a Market Research company to produce a system that eradicates such influence. If you are doing it for commercial purposes you waste your budget if you do not.

    • LOL – not patronising in the slightest Martin are you. Do you really think these people need to spoonfed drivel like INEOS’s 8 page fiction pull out before they can understand what fracking is?

  3. How do you think people form an opinion on any subject, refracktion?

    If they are interested in the subject they examine it from all sides and come to their own opinion. If they are not interested they don’t bother. I recognise you do not like that concept, but unless you want us to be like North Korea, that’s how it works.

    Perhaps you should check how market research questionnaires should be structured. As I said, it may establish a current baseline, but you then need to follow it up with more detailed research to find whether you are reflecting a response from people who have examined the matter, or a response from people who have not, but feel obliged to give a response. The latter will usually give the response they feel the question requires. That may seem patronising to you, but it is a simple fact (yes, foreign matter again) that any market research needs to reflect.

    Market research should work to establish the truth, not to produce the result you want, whoever is doing it.

    Your comment shows clearly how you think people should come to their opinions. Not spoon-feeding, just a very biased and (yet) unproven personal opinion, provided as information. Reminds me of the recent referendum! Yet, millions researched the subject and then made up their minds. Why should people in Cheshire be that different?

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