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Most swing voters want PM to do more for the green economy

A poll commissioned by RenewableUK – the not for profit renewable energy trade association – has revealed that 67% of the electorate who plan to switch their vote from the Conservative to the Labour party at the next election believe Rishi Sunak is not doing enough to boost the use of renewable energy in the UK.

On top of that, the poll – conducted by Opinium Research – found that only 6% of current Conservative voters think he has gone too far in increasing renewable energy use in the UK. 

 

It also emerges that voters see green industries as being more beneficial to areas outside London and the south east than any of the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s other key growth sectors. 59% say the sector will provide good jobs in parts of the UK which have been left behind in terms of economic opportunities.

Specific policies which support the development of renewable energy are seen by voters as more achievable and deliverable. Increasing investment in renewables to make the UK a net energy exporter by 2030 enjoys 84% support among Conservative voters, and 88% among swing voters.

There is a also large  majority who believe the Chancellor should focus his attention on attracting investment into renewables rather than fossil fuels, with only 8% supporting gas and 7% oil, compared to 42% for wind, rising to 52% among swing voters.

The Conservative MP Sir Alok Sharma, who served as the President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, said: ‘This polling is a “wake up and smell the coffee” moment for the siren voices arguing that watering down the Government’s green growth agenda will be a vote winner – it clearly won’t. On the contrary, the Government now needs to speed up delivery of key policies in response to the recent Climate Change Committee report, including on expanding the UK’s renewables sector which will ultimately bring down household bills and improve the UK’s energy security.’

RenewableUK’s Head of Strategic Communications Nathan Bennett said: ‘Following last week’s by-election, some commentators are suggesting the whole green agenda is unpopular. This polling has shown that to be totally unfounded. There is clear support for renewables and the development of the green economy, as well as the policies which would underpin a green industrial strategy, like the development of our ports and incentives from the Chancellor which would help to grow the offshore wind supply chain.

‘Voters around the country understand that the growth of the green economy presents the UK with a huge opportunity to drive jobs and investment outside London and the South East, especially into areas which need levelling up like Teesside, Blyth, Grimsby, East Anglia and swathes of ports around Scotland and the Celtic Sea.

‘Support isn’t solely driven by the fact renewable energy is the lowest cost way of generating new electricity. The majority of voters thinking of switching from Conservative to Labour at the next election, if you ask them, think the Prime Minister hasn’t gone far enough in tackling climate change and growing the wider green economy.

‘There’s more support for green measures than there is for some of the Prime Minister’s five key pledges like stopping the boats. They have the added appeal that voters see green industrial strategy as far more deliverable that the Prime Minister’s pledges’

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