London voter poll: ULEZ not ‘net zero’, not a big issue

New polling [1] in the days leading up to the London elections has found that those who said they were likely to vote ranked the Ultra Low Emissions Zone as ninth from a list of top issues.

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By George Smeeton

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Just 13% said it was a big issue compared to 45% who selected affordable housing, which was the top issue. More people (15%) saw parking as a major concern than the ULEZ, and ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods’ ranked bottom of the list with only one in twenty (5%) selecting it as a big issue.

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The polling also found that voters understand ULEZ to be an air pollution issue, rather than a net zero measure, despite some commentary confusing the two. Just a third (32%) said the policy was aimed at achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions, compared to almost two-thirds (62%) who said it was to improve air quality.

The poll also found that a clear majority (59%) of Londoners are concerned about air pollution compared to around a third (35%) who are not very or not at all concerned.

Alasdair Johnstone of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “Clearly some people have felt impacted by the expansion of the ULEZ zone, but the vast majority of Londoners understand this is an air pollution, not a net zero policy.

“The efforts in some quarters to talk up a ‘war on motorists’ after the Uxbridge by-election and conflate the net zero target with the ULEZ have not seemed to have cut through. Recent rhetoric and attempts to create wedge issues just don’t seem to have worked.

“Whatever the result turns out to be on Saturday, voters in London are much more likely to have voted on issues of housing and crime than on hot-topic debates like ULEZ”.

Four-fifths (82%) of Londoners who said they were likely to vote at Thursday’s election support the UK’s net zero target.

Notes to editors:

1. Polling conducted by More in Common of 2,005 English adults polled, including 345 Londoners, 29 April - 1 May 2024

For more information or for interview requests:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: