Local elections poll: what voters thought about climate/net zero

New polling shows three-quarters (76%) of those who intended to vote support the UK’s net zero target.

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By George Smeeton


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New polling commissioned by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) just ahead of the local elections has found three-quarters (76%) of those who intended to vote support the UK’s net zero target with more than half (53.4%) saying they think the Government should be doing more to tackle climate change.

The polling explored swing voters’ views finding the principal motivations for why people have changed their vote was the economy and cost of living (32%) and general low trust in politicians (28%).

Support for the net zero target was as high among swing voters as the general population at 70% and about the same among people in the Red Wall (67%). More than half (54%) of people in the Red Wall thought the Government should be doing more to address climate change. Only 6% of swing voters cited too much emphasis on net zero as a reason why they have switched their vote to another party.

Net Zero by 2050 - support and oppose
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Respondents were also supportive of renewables developments in their area with 64% supporting new onshore wind development and 68% supporting a solar park in their local area. Only 23% would support a fracking site in their area. Onshore wind garnered a notable 67% support in the red wall.

Asked about some of the measures being implemented to cut emissions, 60% support investment in electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure (only 16% opposed) and 50% support phasing out the sale of new gas boilers (only 22% opposed).

Onshore wind support

Commenting on the findings, Peter Chalkley, Director of ECIU, said: “Support for the net zero target is running high among voters with very few believing too much emphasis is being placed on climate. In fact, more than half want the government to be doing more. Without reaching net zero, without stopping putting more emissions into the environment, climate change will continue to worsen, and it appears that the public is live to that.”

Notes to editors:

1. Polling conducted by Focaldata. Sample size: 1893. Between 29th April – 3rd May 2023

2. Swing voters are defined as people who intended to vote differently compared to the 2019 local elections.

For more information:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: george.smeeton@eciu.net