Fracking support up but opposition remains ahead – government survey

200806 Wave 34 Support and oppose BEIS

Support and opposition to fracking based on online versions of the Wave tracker surveys. Source: BEIS

Support for fracking has risen and opposition fallen, according to results from a government survey published today.

A quarter of participants supported fracking for shale gas, while more than a third (36%) opposed. 28% said they neither supported nor opposed and 10% did not know.

The survey is part of the quarterly Wave tracker of public attitudes for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

But today’s findings can’t be compared with data going back to December 2013 because of changes to survey methods made during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Previous surveys were carried out face-to-face with people in their homes. In May, DrillOrDrop reported on the March 2020 in-home survey, which revealed record levels of opposition to fracking.

Today’s results were based on an online survey carried out in June. There was also online fieldwork carried out in parallel to the March in-home survey.

BEIS said these online surveys showed support for fracking rose from 19% in the parallel survey to 25% in June 2020. Strong support rose over the same period from 5% to 6%.

The online results saw opposition to fracking fall from 42% in the parallel survey to 36% in June 2020. Strong opposition fell from 21% to 18%.

“Opposition higher among older people”

According to today’s survey results, younger people were less likely to oppose fracking than older people.

The results found that 28% of people aged 16-24 opposed fracking, compared with 48% aged 55-64 and 37% aged 65 and over.

The proportion who said they neither supported nor opposed fracking was broadly consistent across all age groups (26%-31%), the survey found.

200806 Wave 34 age Support and oppose BEIS2

Support and opposition to fracking by age group, Wave 34 public attitudes tracker. Source: Beis

Reasons to support and oppose

The most frequently-stated reasons for people supporting fracking were:

  • Need to use all available energy sources (55%)
  • Reduce the dependence on other fossil fuels (52%)
  • Reducing dependence on other countries for UK energy supply (52%)
  • Positive impact on the UK economy (50%)

The most frequently-stated reasons for opposing fracking were:

  • Loss/destruction of the natural environment (63%)
  • Risk of earthquakes (59%)
  • Too much risk or uncertainty (53%)
  • Not a safe process (51%)
  • Risk of contamination of water supply (50%)

The main reason for neither supporting nor opposing fracking was not knowing enough about it (47%).


200806 Wave 34 awareness BEIS2

Awareness of fracking based on online versions of the Wave tracker surveys. Source: Beis

The June 2020 online survey found that 89% said they had some awareness of fracking. 11% said they knew a lot about the process and 54% said they knew a little. 11% said they had never heard of fracking.

These results were similar to those found in the parallel online survey.

200806 Wave 34 awareness age BEIS

Awareness of fracking by age group, Wave 43 online tracker. Source: Beis

According to the June online survey, older people were more aware of fracking than younger people.

98% of people aged 65 and over were aware of fracking, compared with 79% of those aged 16-24.

People in social grades AB were also more likely to be aware of fracking (93%, compared with 86% of people in grades DE), the survey found.


Data for June 2020 online survey, Wave 34, had a sample size of 4,011 collected via the Kantar online omnibus survey between 4-9 June 2020. A parallel online survey to the March face-face survey had a sample size of 2,544, also collected by the Kantar online omnibus, between 3-7 April 2020.




25 replies »

  1. Fracking has gone under the radar since it was ‘banned’ and protests stopped! Only hardcore activists living near fracking sites are still at work asking inconvenient questions of the industry and it’s facilitators/gold standard monitors.

    People are now more concerned about the consequences of the Coronavirus panic, vaccination programs and their loss of incomes and freedoms!

    Even 5g and HS2 hardly get a mention on the media despite work progressing apace around the country.

    [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

        • Simon,
          the only onshore fracking sites active in the UK this Century have been operated by Cuadrilla around Lancashire. The most recent of which was at Preston New Road near Blackpool and it’s serious inability to be fracked without causing Hydrofrac Earthquakes has caused the entire industry to be closed down.
          This site is 4.4 road miles away from my family home and I am progressing claims for the damage it caused.
          For more details please refer to my Freedom of Information requests to the British Geological Survey.
          Any more questions?

          • I have a question, Peter.

            What are the chances of your claim being settled before HS2 is completed?

      • John, really if you don’t know the answer to your question you really shouldn’t be reading Drill or Drop.

        • Peter, there is a group of hardcore activists near my home, who going by their claims, appear to not know where the fracking sites are in the UK and back up the findings of this survey.
          I thought that you may have wanted to help enlighten them and point them in the right direction.
          They also seem to be confused with the differences between monitoring, disruption and abuse, but that’s another issue.

  2. So, what are you suggesting Peter?

    Those that opposed were not that seriously opposed and now have other things they have moved onto, whereas those who supported are more serious and even with other things to concern them, are still supporting and multiplying!!??

    I know of NOBODY concerned around HS2, 5G or vaccinations. Perhaps they are also the supporters and it is just the small proportion who stress about things that others do not, who have had to find “alternative” (oops) stress points?

    Or, perhaps, just natural wastage where the older ones more prone to objecting die out! The young that are frequently utilized as the excuse for the oldies behaviour don’t seem to be interested. Confirms my own experience. Shock/horror. Concern for our grand children so often referenced by the oldies, seems to have been a transference of their mind set, rather than a reality of the younger persons.

    But, as usual we will shortly see the usual suspects stating that the data means something else altogether!

    • Martin,

      As we can’t yet meet up for rational discussion with people outside of our usual crowd, you’ll be needing to use Internet search engines to discover the reasons people have for their concerns about 5g and vaccinations.

      This will not only hopefully keep you busy for some considerable amount of time but open your eyes to what is really going on around our Country but not reported by the Establishment controlled controlled media.

      • Peter,

        I may be an oldie, but there are far more interesting conspiracy theories out there if I wished to search! I could spend 24/7 on Mr. Cummings alone.

        As far as vaccinations, when I used to travel abroad I checked what vaccinations I needed to keep me safe and had them, and they kept me safe. Simple.
        I have, in my time, vaccinated hundreds of thousands of animals to do exactly the same for them, and to help secure food supplies for the UK. There were a few chickens that complained, but that is what some chickens do. Not surprising to find the same in other animal groups.

        5G doesn’t concern me too much. I could do with faster speeds to increase my output (now, there’s a thought!) but my need in that respect is a lot less than many others. Who builds 5G is a bigger issue, that now looks to have been sorted.

        HS2 is hardly a new concept. The French did it MANY years ago, and a lovely way to travel. About time UK caught up. Not sure they will equal the lovely young French ladies on board to help the business (and other) travellers, but hope springs eternal.

        But, going back to your establishment controlled media, and my chickens, have you noticed how it has been excluded that the UK did NOT vote to ban chlorinated chicken imports? You try correcting the media on that one, and you will find it is inconvenient to the story they want to tell.

        • There you go Martin, you’ve started your journey of discovery about other people’s points of view and concerns.

          Keep digging and who knows what you will learn.

          I’ve done my own research about many things since the frackers and their corrupt, violent facilitators and enforcers exposed themselves.

          Goodbye to you.

          • Oh, I discovered a long while ago that some people have irrational concerns, Peter. And, discovered more recently, that modern technology is full of helpful souls who wish to exploit that.

            Maybe a few around PNR would be less stressed if they could separate rational and irrational concerns, and could spend a little of their energy on the rational concerns and a lot more time on enjoying life?

            Remember the twaddle about selenium?

            Just a thought.

  3. Protesting is related to Boredom, as we have found while under Covid Lockdown the amount of people came out to march, they didn’t really understand what they were marching for, but like sheep everyone followed the herd. Boredom and time on people’s hands,!, people are angry and frustrated!, but they don’t actually now why, Covid has given people a scare, and a realisation their previous cause for anarchy is actually a red herring and what really matters isn’t what the die-hards wanted to stop, they just enjoyed the community spirit, a belonging, space to vent their anger and frustration and to live in a farmers field for many months?!?Activism is a profession, i.e. you are not necessarily targeting one angle, Activism and Anarchy are in existence to slow / reduce and eliminate progression. Something the Anti’s although enjoy the trappings security, safety and the wealth of. I can, so I will, but on the other hand they also want it stopped!
    It Beats Me… 🤷‍♂️

  4. Almost TWO THIRDS NOT AGAINST, support rising, and against is largely amongst the elderly!!

    Soon be time to reverse the moratorium, Boris.

    Why the change in the numbers?

    My suspicion is that people are realizing there are some huge bills to pay in the coming years due to Covid-19 and they would like some more UK industry to pay some more tax, so bills to the individual tax payer will not take so much of the burden. That is what my two sons in their early 40s, both having worked through most of the lockdown, indicate. Of less concern to the well off elderly and the anarchists.

    All fits.


      Fracking, ” reverse the monatorium ” that really is a funny one.

      I see this pandemic hasn’t tainted your zest and enthusiasm to entertain the forum members . Good on you MARTIN , we all need some laughter.

      Getting back to the matter in hand. Considering Fracking is nothing more than a toxic, enviournmentaly damaging, dangerous to human and animal health , climate changing , debt ridden ponzi scheme.

      In ones wildest imagination, I fail to see what possible benefit UK Fracking could bring .

      If there is anything that you disagree with in my above post , please let me know, I will of course be delighted to put forward my evidence .

      Please note MARTIN , you say two thirds are not against fracking … You should also say that two thirds are NOT FOR FRACKING .

      Yes the young may not be up to spec on Fracking , buy dont worry , many of us are helping them to understand the true dangers .

      • Fracking the UK is over Jack but the consequences of Cuadrilla’s latest failed attempts at test fracking Preston New Road are not.

        Legal Proceedings against Cuadrilla and others for property damage and other matters are queued up waiting for preparatory works to be finalised and normal legal procedure to restart. The effects of Hydrofrac Earthquake activity are immediate.

        Consequences involving possible ill health from air, water and ground contamination are unknown so far as they can take years to develop as well failures are unpredictable as are other factors.

  5. Well, hello again Jack!

    Have you recovered? Do you see yourself as the “Super Sub” who sits on the bench for week after week, runs onto the field when all is lost, and saves the day?

    “Many of us are helping.” !!??

    Nope. Data shows very different. They are unconvinced, and far more interested in other things-apart from the few who have failed to find another interest they can latch onto, or be easily manipulated by their elders. Understandable for the oldies, but the youngsters have much more interesting ways of spending their time. Maybe not in your part of the world, Jack, but certainly here in UK.

    Let me bring you up to date with a few things that have been observed in UK, Jack, as your issues with keeping up to date with UK are known:

    NT making a load of people redundant. Perhaps they should have looked for revenue streams from essential industries, that would continue when other revenues would not?

    Brent Crude back to $45/barrel. Someone had a very short period of glee, but the reality soon returned.

    Your failure to see is well documented, Jack.

    Where did the animal health come from? Just slipped it in? The cows next to the PNR site looked pretty healthy to me! Did they produce more methane than the site or less? Were they suffering from selenium poisoning? How about all those cows in Texas? They seem to be doing okay with fracking. Is fracking going to wipe out bats? Could be quite a few now who might think that would not be a bad idea! How about those Emperor Penguins? Oh, they have found them now, just like the other penguins “lost” a year or two ago, that we “understood” from DoD comments was connected to the ARCTIC!

    Keep on with your helping, Jack. Seems to be working well. LOL.

    • Haha MARTIN , good to hear from you old sport .

      I’ve never been away, just been here quietly reading through the posts. I must say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your contribution. Have you ever thought about writing childrens fantasy books ? Your ability to dream up new storylines us worthy of a J. K. Rowling fantasy award .

      Now , now MARTIN , we all know how bitter you are towards the National Trust, especially after their FIRM stance against fracking on all of their land .

      Like with thousands of other UK companies, the National Trust is making a number of people redundant, what’s your point ?

      What we have to remember from this, is, the Natioan Trust offers to the young people , open spaces , history and heritage .

      FRACKING OFFERS , pollution, climate change , poor health to humans and animals, a never ending financial burden with the ongoing maintenance cost of abandoned wells , HUGE financial debts and bankruptcies which inevitably in some part will work it’s way on to the shoulders of the good old British tax payer.

    • Oh dear MARTIN ,

      For someone who’s been everywhere , done everything and knows all societies key players . I’d of thought your expansion of knowledge would of stopped you making such a ludicrous comment, quote, ” the cows next to the PNR site looked pretty healthy to me ” or is that another attempt to bring more joy and laughter to the readers ???????

      Let’s talk USA , or have you forgotten the Fracking car crash over there ???????

      • For someone who spent their working life within agriculture, and enjoyed visiting my parents farm every few weeks, perhaps I believed I could comment based upon experience, Jack!

        You should try it one day, rather than rely upon unreliable Internet links.

        We are still waiting to hear your OWN experience of a hybrid or electric vehicle. You have been asked several times, but have side stepped the issue. Perhaps they have yet to arrive in your neck of the woods?

        Brent Crude now around $45/barrel. Low cost oil production, and that supported by individual governments with high consumption will do okay. States relying upon exports of oil to keep things going, not so good. Shame for them, eh Jack! They will spend more money on trying to force their case, but not much chance of it working.

        Better invest in those Marigolds.

        • MARTIN ,

          Your experience in agriculture gives you ZERO experience and knowledge of the Fracking industry. I do hope the forum members take note of this fact during future debates .

          It does though suprise me, as to why you relentlessly fight so hard for an industry you are so unqualified to talk about .

          It does though now explain why, I repeatedly have to keep enlightening you, as to the dangers of the industry.

          Like myself , I suggest you also take note from the real qualified professionals, who unanimously agree , fracking is dangerous , debt ridden ponzi scheme .

          If there is anything you dispute , please let me know . I will be delighted show you the evidence with easily accessible LINKS.

          Moving on , MARTIN old chap , please enlighten jack and the rest if the forum members as to what this is about , quote,
          ” We are still waiting to hear your OWN experience of a hybrid or electric vehicle. You have been asked several times, ”

          MARTIN your wild imagination is beginning to run away with you . You have NEVER and I repeat NEVER put that line of questioning my way at any time within the last 12 MONTHS .

          I CHALLENGE YOU to prove otherwise.

          With such fantasy, J.K.Rowling watch out, there’s a new player on the block .

  6. It seems the survey still restricts itself to ‘fracking’ rather than the wider issues of conventional and unconventional onshore oil and gas exploration/exploitation in the UK. The unconventional onshore companies now avoid the term fracking and prefer to use the term stimulation, seeking to distance themselves from being fracking companies. However, the risks are remarkably similar.
    With this government of liars and cheats, I smell a rat regarding this survey.

    • M Kenward, the petroleum industry has always used the term hydraulic fracture stimulation – fracking is a later term that was thought up by the antis to scare the gullible. The risks posed by unconventionals tend to be far lower than those of conventional reservoirs as a result of basic rock properties (permeability, pore volume compressibility). One only has to look at accidents such as Maconda to see that conventional reservoirs are far more difficult to control than those with lower permeability and compressibility.

  7. So, M Kenward, you think the public has any concept regarding the spin you try and weave??

    Nope. Neither are they much interested in fracking, apart from a few oldies who seem to be desperately in need of a conspiracy theory to adopt.

    Good job the younger ones are being educated in identifying fake news. Perhaps some adult classes may be required?

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