Swing voters want ‘further and faster’ action on climate change, poll reveals

  • Almost half of all voters want “further and faster” action on climate change
  • ECIU poll of 20,000 UK adults focused on Tory to Labour/ Lib Dem switchers 
  • Conservative’s lukewarm campaign on climate change a “strategic error”
General Election 2024

53% of Conservative switchers said climate action should be going further and faster, according to the ECIU poll

More than half of 2024 election voters, including those who switched from the Conservatives to Labour or the Liberal Democrats, believe the previous government’s climate change policy did not go far enough, a new poll by Focaldata for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) has found.

Out of the 20,018 UK adults surveyed between 21 June – 4 July 2024, 53% of Conservative switchers said climate action should be going further and faster, 27% said it should be slower and 20% were impartial or did not know.

For the UK public as a whole, just under half (49%) wanted ‘further and faster’ action, and only 25% thought it should slow down.

Alasdair Johnstone, head of parliamentary engagement at the ECIU, said of the results: “These ‘turquoise Tories’ who are really up for clean energy and greater Government action on climate change have turned red or yellow.

“It was clearly a strategic error to go lukewarm on climate change.”

The poll also queried UK public support policies to cut emissions, even if it meant higher costs and some inconvenience. A significant 48% of all respondents, and 56% of Conservative to Labour and Liberal Democrats switchers said they were willing to incur a small cost to cut emissions. . Twenty-nine per cent of all respondents disagreed, and 23% were neither or were unsure. 

The poll also asked about spport for onshore wind, and found that both Conservative to Labour and/or Liberal Democrat switchers felt similar, voting 70% and 73% respectively, with just 8% and 10% opposing it. 

A second poll from Opinium, also carried out on behalf of the ECIU, found that those switching their votes away from Tories were stronger supporters of 2050 net-zero targets. Labour have been outspoken in their ambitions to reach the target, including the creation of a publicly-owned company, Great British Energy.

Johnstone continued: “Labour now has a clear mandate, particularly from some of its new voters, to go further and faster on net zero ambition. Indeed, if it is to deliver on its promise of growth as the manifesto itself set out and the likes of the CBI (Confederation of British Industries) have said, green investment must be central to that.”

Despite some concrete action from the Tories in tackling  climate change, the British public turned to Labour and the Lib Dems due to the accelerated timelines they offered in the election. As part of the Green Prosperity Plan, Labour pledged to deliver clean power by 2030, five years earlier than Conservatives. 

As Johnstone explained: “Successive Conservative governments had made bold moves on climate change, setting the net zero target into law, hosting the COP26 climate summit, backing offshore wind, conceiving the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate and the heat pump mandate.

“Indeed, on a number of policies helping people to adopt cleaner technologies in their lives, the Conservatives and Labour set out similar solutions. But Labour was bolder in its rhetoric and its timelines for accelerating renewables and shifting away from oil and gas.”

Written by:
Louise joined The Eco Experts as Editorial Assistant in April 2024. She is a talented artist who has a keen interest in solutions that lead to a more environmentally-friendly future.
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