“Don’t underestimate fracking in the election” – campaign network

Frack Free United and Cross Party Frack free polling station

Photo: Frack Free United

With 40+ marginal seats in more 170 English parliamentary constituencies potentially affected by oil and gas licences, the campaign network, Frack Free United, warned today that the impact of fracking on the election should not be underestimated.

The government appeared to be trying to neutralise fracking as a voting issue by announcing a moratorium three days after calling the poll.

But this afternoon, Frack Free United said more than 470 candidates in 340+ constituencies had signed a pledge to ban fracking in all its forms. This includes oil and gas stimulation using acid or smaller amounts of fluid than the current government definition of fracking.

The list includes well-known names committed to a fracking ban including: the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, the Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson, and Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley of the Green Party.

The network said it had contacted every candidate on the Democracy Now public email list and tweeted as many as possible. It also asked its supporters to contact candidates to ask them to sign up.

The pledge was:

“If my constituency is at threat from fracking or any associated form of onshore unconventional oil and gas exploration, I will oppose it. If it is not a threat in my constituency I will oppose it nationwide.”

Key findings from the signatory list


  • 474 candidates from 348 constituencies signed the Frack Free United pledge
  • 157 signatories were from 99 constituencies with oil and gas licences
  • 48 signatories were from 28 marginal constituencies
  • The constituencies with the largest number of signatories were York Central (5 signatories) and Rother Valley (4).

There were 15 marginal constituencies with oil and gas licences that had no signatories.


  • 44 signatories were MPs at the time the 2019 election was called
  • Well-known figures who signed the pledge (in alphabetical order) included: Mike Amesbury (Labour, Weaver Vale); Jonathan Bartley (Green, Dulwich and West Norwood); Margaret Beckett (Labour, Derby South); Clive Betts (Labour, Sheffield South East); Jeremy Corbyn (Labour, Islington North); Tim Farron (Lib Dem, Westmoreland & Lonsdale); Barry Gardiner (Labour, Brent North); Caroline Lucas (Green, Brighton Pavillion), Justin Madders (Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston); Dennis Skinner (Labour, Bolsover); Kat Smith (Labour, Lancaster & Fleetwood); Jo Swinson (Lib Dem, East Dunbartonshire); Emily Thornberry (Labour, Islington South & Finsbury); Alan Whitehead (Labour, Southampton Test).

The pledge was not signed by Mark Menzies (Conservative, Fylde) or Lee Rowley (Conservative, North East Derbyshire) who both campaigned actively against fracking in their constituencies.


  • Not surprisingly, the party with the largest number of signatories, at 156, was the Green Party
  • 140 Labour candidates signed the pledge, followed by 134 Lib Dems
  • Seven Conservative and three Brexit candidates signed the pledge.
  • Other signatories were from SNP (2), Yorkshire Party (3) and independents (11).

Call for ban on all extreme extraction

Frack Free United urged voters to support candidates who pledged to oppose all forms of extreme fossil fuel extraction in the UK, including a complete ban on all forms of fracking.

DrillOrDrop’s review of the election manifestos showed party attitudes to fracking ranged from a “ban on fracking and other unconventional fossil fuel extraction” (Greens) to “no support for fracking” from the Conservatives.

Labour called for an immediate and permanent ban on fracking, while the Lib Dems promised to ban fracking for good. The Brexit Party referendum had no reference to fracking, oil, gas, hydrocarbons, onshore exploration, drilling, climate or greenhouse gases,

Steve Mason, of Frack Free United, said:

“We are overwhelmed with the response in this election campaign, not just from areas impacted directly by licenses, but from all over the country. All of them signed up calling for a total ban on fracking in all its forms.

“It is becoming clear that to prevent the UK from developing a new fossil fuel industry, we must focus the minds of those who want power.

“We must continue to drive the message home in every election, so we can make policymakers aware of the strength of feeling against fossil fuel companies invading communities.

“That’s why we are urging people to support these Frack Free candidates on the campaign trail and at the ballot box. The list is growing day by day and we urge all candidates to pledge to ban fracking forever in the UK.”

Joe Corré, of the campaign group, Talk Fracking, said:

“The current moratorium on fracking has all the hallmarks of a trick to pause fracking for the election. Boris Johnson himself and his top team are all very pro-fracking. Jim Ratcliffe, whose owns INEOS, has said they are continuing with their plans to frack the UK as the biggest fracking licence holder. We have not won this fight yet and this election will be critical.”

Link to Frack Free United list

25 replies »

  1. Well, as the Sky interview of people in Blackpool never identified a comment about fracking, it would seem this is hope against reality.

    Maybe those in Bridgewater will be asking for relief from seismic events, because it didn’t seem that important to those in Blackpool.

    Clean sweep for the Tories in Lancashire? Could be.

    • Eli-Goth, fracking will DESTROY my children’s future. Still don’t know your real name or motivation! [Edited by moderator]

      • FACT:
        Fracking will not destroy your children’s future. You need to get with the programme and understand the true culprit of climate change, over population and a need to consume all nature’s resources at an alarming rate!
        You sir are the very meaning of propaganda of which there is no-merit! As for My motivation, is something of which you are in no fit mind to accept, so we will just not go there!
        You have enjoyed the trappings of living in the UK and obliviously consuming energy without the thought of where it comes from until it arrives on your door step, NIMBYISM at its finest!

  2. It is disappointing that Lee Rowley didn’t sign the pledge. We (and other groups/individuals) were in touch with him several times since the summer of 2018 regarding the issue of acid stimulation, but it never made it to the top of the agenda of his APPG. We also sent him the legal brief “Acid Stimulation: Fracking by Stealth” which defines the loophole in the UK legal and regulatory system with regards to fracking. This loophole means that, despite the 2 Nov moratorium, it is likely that ALL constituencies in the UK remain at a risk of fracking so long as the oil/gas company’s expected operations don’t qualify as either “associated” or “relevant” hydraulic fracturing (and therefore don’t require a hydraulic fracturing consent from the BEIS SoS).

    • All the text below is text from “Friends Of The Earth General Election 2019 manifestos: final scores”


      “The 2019 General Election has taken place under the shadow of the climate and nature emergencies. In recent months flooding and wildfires have blighted lives and devastated communities both here and abroad, and over the past year there has been an unprecedented level of concern from the public, led by the voices of the young.

      “Earlier in 2019 UK Parliament declared a climate emergency, but despite adopting a new target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, action to cut emissions has stalled and our transport emissions are rising. The announcement of a General Election gave political parties the chance to rise to the challenge and set out the policies needed to address this emergency.

      So how do the party manifestos score?

      Overall scores of 2019 manifestos from the Greens, Lib Dems, Tories and Labour

      Green Party = 31 / 45

      Liberal Democrats = 30 / 45

      Labour Party = 33 / 45

      Conservative Party = 5.5 / 45

      How did Friends Of The Earth arrive at those scores?

      We marked the Conservatives, Green Party, Labour, Lib Dem manifestos against our own manifesto covering ten policy areas including transport, food, nature, climate targets, energy and local action. The manifestos were given a final score out of 45 (which was shared with each party), and we published an initial overview of the manifestos which was shared with the public.

      After being sent their initial score following the publication of their manifestos, Friends of the Earth allowed a short additional period during which we would include additional pledges, clarifications or restatement of existing policies made in public or sent to us for publication, which might have been left out of manifestos – but form part of the party’s policies for Government.

      Our final detailed assessment took these changes into account, and saw Labour, Lib Dems and Greens all score highly, but with the Labour Party given a slightly higher mark overall. The Conservative Party scored poorly and its manifesto was judged to be missing significant commitments in numerous areas, inadequate policies in others, with actively damaging policies in transport.

      The Labour Party manifesto from the start contained very strong, funded policies on home energy efficiency and renewable energy. Additional environmental commitments were subsequently announced during their election campaign, including an ambitious pledge on tree planting, a detailed policy on food and commitment to strong environmental law and enforcement in its “Plan for Nature”, plus significant public transport and cycling announcements.

      Labour manifesto score 2019 = 33 / 45
      A letter sent to Friends of the Earth from 4 Labour Shadow Secretaries of State went further than the manifesto in key areas. The letter stated a strong preference for a frequent flyer levy to manage demand for aviation, promising to review the Aviation National Policy Statement against much tougher carbon targets (and cancel Heathrow airport if it wasn’t consistent with those targets). It also pledged to divert funds directly from the current road building programme for public transport, walking and cycling projects.

      Greens 2019 manifesto score = 31 / 45
      The Lib Dems and Greens both also had a suite of policies which were consistently judged to meet, and sometimes exceed, Friends of the Earth’s policy demands. Both party manifestos include particularly strong policies on home energy efficiency and renewable energy, but scored lower than Labour overall.

      Liberal Democrats 2019 manifesto score = 30 / 45
      The Lib Dems set out additional pledges to its manifesto in a letter to Friends of the Earth, recommitting to the policies in its previously published Climate Emergency policy document. However the Greens did not provide any additional clarification or restate previous pledges in a number of policy areas ahead of the deadline we set. A letter was subsequently received from co-leader Jonathan Bartley, which we have not included in the scoring document but have published for transparency.

      Conservative’s 2019 manifesto score = 5.5 / 45
      Despite the Conservative Party manifesto including decent policies on plastics and agricultural subsidies, and a restatement of the moratorium on fracking, in sector after sector its commitments were invariably weaker than the other parties, entirely absent or just plain bad (take the road building programme, for example). Overall, their manifesto comprehensively fails to address the climate and nature emergencies, which are hurting communities right now and will deliver catastrophe in the future.

      During this election Friends of the Earth’s supporters have also been asking parliamentary candidates from all parties to pledge to make climate change a deal-breaker in how they will vote if elected.Over 1,000 candidates to date in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have done so.

      As a politically impartial organisation our aim is to ensure all parties have the strongest possible policies on the environment. We will hold the next parliament and government – whoever that may be – to the promises they have made to us and the public through their manifestos and pledges.”

      • So using the score system in reverse for supporting our economy, keeping unemployment down, keeping the UK competitive and minimising interest rates, the Conservatives win by a huge margin. FOE are not known as Enemies of Industry for nothing….

        • Just repairing the damage and pollution of decades of ignorant wasteful ransacking of the planets mineral and ecological resources for profit will be more industry and jobs than we can handle in hundreds of years let alone decades.
          Even the Rothschild’s and the Rockerfeller’s are all ready abandoning oil and gas and are going for renewable technology. You can at least trust they know where the profits will come from. Even if you trust them for nothing else.
          The planetary climate is changing for the worst regardless of why that is. We had better deal with that first. Without that there will be no industry worth a damn. What we do this week in this election will effect us and future generations. Reversing the trend now back and locking ourselves into even more climate destruction isn’t a rational choice. We will all suffer for that.

          We had better change direction now while we can. We won’t get a second chance. That will be up to us to enforce it and not let any of them get away with mere words and no action. And that depends on whether we can trust them to make what few changes they all promise in their manifestos.

          Judging by the evidence of years of past experience with all political parties. Who do you trust? Who can you trust? Who is pulling their strings? And who is pulling your strings?

          More growth equals collapse

          Sue the ******** and solve the problem

  3. Received my Green Party leaflet over the weekend. No mention of fracking.

    I have recycled it! Does that make me greener than the Green Party?

  4. Many of us students dont trust politicians to do anything other than grand words and empty promises.
    There are three XR demands:
    1. #TellTheTruth
    2. #ActNow
    3. #BeyondPolitics
    For the givers. Not the takers.
    For the growers. Not the blowers.
    For the makers. Not the takers.
    For the love of the natural world that gave me and you life.
    Not for the haters who destroy everything and everyone around them just for money and power and the greed of it.
    For the entire planet and the country where i was born.
    For all the the people of UK and the Earth.
    For all those who are on hunger strike still.
    And not for those politicians who walk on by oblivious to their responsibility.

    Lily Cole supports Extinction Rebellion hunger strikers outside the Conservative Party HQ

    Peter Cole | XR Hunger Striker | Conservative Party HQ | Extinction Rebellion

    And here’s a nice Crisis song for you to sing along to.

    12 Days of Crisis – “Sing Along” – Extinction Rebellion

    On the first day of crisis, we need to understand
    Its climate emergency
    On the second day of crisis, we must take action now
    Is it 2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the third day of crisis, Rebellion brings to you
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the fourth day of crisis we’re ringing the alarm bells
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the fifth day of crisis, the ice just melts away
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the sixth day of crisis, the world has now endured
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the seventh day of crisis, indulgence is too much
    7 deadly sins
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the eighth day of crisis, could civilisations fall?
    8 wonders crumbling
    7 deadly sins
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the ninth day of crisis, our animals will die
    9 lives is fiction
    8 wonders crumbling
    7 deadly sins
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the tenth day of crisis, we’re holding to account
    10 Downing Street
    9 lives is fiction
    8 wonders crumbling
    7 deadly sins
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the eleventh day of crisis, we’re running out of time
    11 years to sort it
    10 Downing Street
    9 lives is fiction
    8 wonders crumbling
    7 deadly sins
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

    On the twelfth day of crisis, we’re fighting to protect
    All our children’s futures
    11 years to sort it
    10 Downing Street
    9 lives is fiction
    8 wonders crumbling
    7 deadly sins
    6 mass extinctions
    5 oceans rise
    4 all the world
    Our 3 demands
    Is that 2 much to ask?
    Its a climate emergency!

  5. Demands, demands, demands!

    Rather juvenile to believe demands will work.

    How about if the older generation starting making demands of the younger generation? Would they listen and react positively?

    If the discussion has to come down to demands, there is something wrong with the power to persuade.

    • Your generation have all ready have made demands on the young MC angry old man.
      You demand we cannot have a future on a clean liveable thriving planet that is self sustaining of itself and the people and wildlife that live on it.
      Your generation demands we spend our lives cleaning up the filth and plastic waste in the oceans and the pollution and the destruction your generation has left to poison and choke the planet with.
      Your generation demands we live without having a say in our own futures.
      Your generation demand that we put up with your generations anger and hatred of the young because we will supplant your generation.
      Your generation have trashed this planets natural resources and wildlife in the 6th extinction event in the history of life on this planet.
      Your generation demand we live with that and pay for trying to repair at least some of the damage.
      Your generation demand we put up with the corrupt and greedy political system.
      Your generation demand that it has denied the young the vote and then expects us to live with that.
      Your generation demands that it can rip out the heart of the planets resources and wildlife and ecology without payment or thanks and expects it just to lie there and take it.
      There is a word for that too.
      Your generation demands that the planet and the ecology and the wildlife has no legal representation and that it cannot represent itself, or be represented for its protection in a court of law.
      Thats going to change.
      We demand that it will change.
      We demand that it will change.

      • Demand away, but Santa will give you a miss. He’s not that found of ageist, sexist individuals.

        I’m a happy bunny. Santa looks after the good boys and girls who spend their time contributing instead of demanding.

  6. I don’t think MC is angry, I’m certainly not. Very happy actually. This BB is great for a laugh and a wind up. But I am becoming disillusioned with some of your generation. You call us angry? Perhaps you should read what you write AT? As I have said previously, you need to get out in the big wide world and see for yourself what is going on, how people live, what they aspire to and why bankrupting the UK will have no impact on your concerns whatsoever.

    • You posted that all ready PT. Its rubbish. Afraid no one was looking? No, i already replied elsewhere. Off you go find it. Scoot!

    • And then you say you are not angry old men? You got to be kidding me? You’d better look at your posts from this side. Angry is the mildest i would put it. Frustrated and spiteful is more like it.
      If you’re disillusioned with my generation. Then you’ve got quite a surprise coming. Disillusionment doesnt even come close to how my generation sees what has been done to us by your generation. Your generation has trashed the planet and is trying to offload the entire stinking mess your generation has created onto our shoulders to clean up. And then you say you are disillusioned with my generation that has hardly begun yet? Your generation has had what fifty, sixty years to mend its ways and change for the better. What went wrong?
      Why the screw up?
      And you expect us to clean up the mess and pay for the privilege?

      No. PT. I wouldnt say we are disillusioned with the older generation. I would say absolutely gob smackingly furious.

      Look at the planet when you were born. Nice place was it? Peaceful? Mainly anyway. Nature thriving and the air clean and breathable? Soil well fertile and crops growing wherever you put them? Travel around the planet with ease and no wars and invasions happening? Governments relatively benign? Laws relatively non interfering? Cheap travel everywhere? Europe a friendly place without major conflict?

      Do you think we didnt notice? Do you think we dont see movies and films of how the world used to be?

      Look at it now. Improved? Much the same?
      No, screwed up polluted. War and famine. Weather systems all over the place. Climate change. Global warming. Social conflict. Political madness. Country against country. Media stirring it all up into a frenzy of hate and self interest?

      That is what we see.

      Where did psychedelic drugs come from btw? LSD? Your generation. Opioids? Your generation. All sorts of recreational drugs were manufactured in your generation. If they werent there Then maybe people wouldnt use them. You found that reply yet btw?

      Just like fossil fuels. You lot dragged them out of the ground. If you hadnt done that. We wouldnt have to use them and search for non polluting alternatives. Those alternatives should have been used and replacing fossil fuels generations ago. What stopped them being made available? oh yes. Money. it was more profitable to keep polluting and cover up the truth about it, than allowing any sort of competition. You see, i do my homework to write on Drill or Drop at all.

      So there you see its all a matter of perspective. You look down the generation gap and we are staring right back at you. Horrified at what your generation has done.
      And then you lot still want to make it worse for everything and everyone by inviting the same corrupt bunch of political parasites in for another feast?
      No wonder the younger generation despise politics and politicians so much.

      Disillusioned with the younger generation indeed! We are what you made us. Literally! Live with it.

      Well, there’s anger for you. That was a taste of how your posts look to me. That is what you look like to us.

      • Analya

        ‘re the bit above starting with ..look at the planet when you were born. Up to ‘this is what we see’.

        Worthy of comment I guess, I am 64, my step dad 96, my daughters 20 and 34.

        At what point should I consider the generation split to be? As old as Boris or may be Corbyn…or younger? But required to compare and contrast.

        BTW I went to poly, but my parents could not afford the cost, so I had to get a job ( lucky for me OPEC decided to hike oil prices ). No way of amassing debt in those days ( a good thing too I guess ).

    • Yes, Paul, there are some who let the younger generation down. Mind you, it has always been the case. The difference now is that a few can magnify their shrieks on the Internet. Fortunately, the majority of the younger generation I have contact with have other ways of expressing themselves, with quite different viewpoints.

      The term, “angry young man” was coined for a reason. National Service helped to iron that out, or VSO for those more delicate souls.

      Perhaps Boris will bring back something along those lines? A means to pay back University grants?

      Wait for it…..

      • There are some who let the older generation down MC. That has always been the case. The shrieks of those bent upon division and provocation on the internet we are well used to. And trained to laugh at and ignore. Fortunately the older generation i tend to have contact with have far better ways of expressing themselves with love and respect. They have quite different and more mature viewpoints than i see here. The term “angry old men” was coined for those others who only write to provoke for a very good reason.
        That is seen right here.

        I am sure national Service is what some want for the younger generation. Squash the young in military service to crush their spirit and enforce fear of authority. Voluntary Overseas Service is something for peaceful people who want to help others and dont have a bad temper. Otherwise they get sent back. Angry old men need not apply. So it is not their souls that are more delicate. its that they are able to watch and laugh at those who are only able to make deliberate provocation to amuse themselves, and reflect that right back.

        Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn will abolish University Loans. Just like the older generation were let off the cost of higher education But are too miserly to allow the younger generation to have the same advantage they had. Still no answer on that i see.

        My student friends are looking at all this and are laughing happily at all this nonsense. But it’s a break from study for a while. So thank you for this diverting entertainment.

        Its been a laugh.

        And from me!
        Mee too!
        And Me!
        Cant stop laughing!

        • Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn will abolish University Loans? Good if he does but he also needs to cut places drastically. Perhaps we will have interest rates of 15% again and high unemployment and no exports. We were let off? My first mortgage was at a rate of 17-1/2%. Be careful what you wish for – or would you also expecting free housing?

  7. Maybe if the (Green, Labour, Liberal etc) candidates had signed pledges in favour of fracking, they might have done better in the General Election?

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