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By Lord Watson of Wyre Forest
Press releases

Majority Of Conservative Voters Expect To Shift To Electric Cars As Part Of Net-Zero Push

Conservative voters also overwhelmingly support new renewable energy (Alamy)

3 min read

An exclusive poll for The House finds a majority of Conservative voters envision shifting to electric cars as the United Kingdom chases its net-zero targets.

A significant majority of Conservative voters believe they will one day own an electric car, as the government presses ahead with plans to stop the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

The figures showing 59 per cent plan to make the switch will come as a boost to ministers working on the United Kingdom’s commitment to hit its net-zero targets by 2050, which have come under scrutiny in the face of the current global energy crisis.

The poll, conducted by Redfield and Wilton Strategies on 13 October, found that among the 78 per cent of all of those polled who currently owned a car - of which 89 per cent were petrol or diesel vehicles - a majority (69 per cent) said they expected to transition to a fully electric vehicle in the future.

But the study found that while most Conservative voters who currently own cars were also expecting to make the transition, they fell behind other parties’ supporters, with 72 per cent of Labour voters and 66 per cent of Liberal Democrats believing they will make the shift at some point in the future.

The figures also found that when asked about their opinion on how Brits would primarily travel around the UK in the future, a majority of voters (54 per cent) agreed there would be a switch to the use of electric vehicles, while 29 per cent envisioned the public would primarily rely on a combination of walking, cycling and public transport to get around.

Meanwhile, the poll also found that more than three-quarters of Conservative backers would support or strongly support further construction of wind turbines, with 70 per cent happy for them to be built in their local area.

The figures come after the government unveiled plans to improve the UK’s energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with both new nuclear projects and an increase in North Sea oil and gas licenses put forward as major planks of the strategy.

But the study found that Conservative voters were actually three per cent more likely than the general public to back the construction of wind farms, garnering more support than plans for new nuclear and fossil fuel projects.

By contrast, a majority (55 per cent) of Conservative voters backed the development of new nuclear power stations, while just 30 per cent wanted to see further fracking projects approved.

Asked whether they would support the construction of nuclear power stations in their local area, 44 per cent of voters said they would be opposed or strongly opposed, with just 29 per cent supportive. Conservative voters split evenly on the issue, with 36 per cent generally supportive, and the same number generally opposed, while 25 per cent said they had no preference.

The figures come as newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed he would reinstate his party’s moratorium on shale gas extraction following an attempt by former energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg to restart fracking projects.

The decision is likely to be popular with a majority of voters, after just 19 per cent said they would support or strongly support fracking operations in their local area. That compared to 25 per cent who said they were opposed or strongly opposed to local fracking projects, while 29 per cent were undecided on the prospect.

The figures stand in stark contrast to opposition for wind farms, with just five per cent of all voters opposed to new wind farms being constructed in their local area, rising to only six per cent among Conservative voters.

The poll of 1,500 eligible voters across all regions and nations of the UK was carried out on
13 October.

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