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New polling reveals net zero rowbacks will cost Tories voters and won't win back Reform voters

Today, the Conservative Environment Network have launched new polling that reveals the majority of voters from all parties, including Reform and the Conservative Party, back a cross-party consensus on the need to tackle climate change. 

Conducted by Opinium, this polling reveals voters' perceptions on climate change, priorities, and renewable energy.

A majority of voters - including those who are not intending to vote Conservative but have not ruled it out - want political parties to build a cross-party consensus on climate change. This doesn’t necessarily mean a consensus on how to deliver net zero:

  • Twice as many Reform voters want a consensus on tackling climate change (62%) as oppose it (30%) 

  • 82% of Conservative voters want a consensus on tackling climate change, with only 11% opposed

  • 77% of voters who are not intending to vote Conservative, but have not ruled it out, support a cross-party consensus on climate change

  • Furthermore, 89% of current Conservative voters who haven’t ruled out switching to Labour at the next election want a consensus on tackling climate change

The environment is not a priority for Reform voters:

  • Only 2% of Reform voters listed climate change/net zero/environment as their primary concern

  • The majority (58%) of Reform voters chose immigration as their primary concern

Voters support maximising investment in renewable energy 

  • 69% of Reform voters support a cross-party consensus on maximising renewable investment, as opposed to 21% who oppose it

  • 81% of current Conservative voters want a cross-party consensus on maximising renewable investment (vs 7% opposed), as do voters who could be persuaded to switch to the Conservatives (75% support vs 10% opposed)

  • 95% of former Conservative voters now intending to vote Lib Dem support maximum investment in renewables, with only 3% opposed

Sam Hall, Director of the Conservative Environment Network, commented: 

The Conservatives' achievements on cutting emissions and rolling out renewable energy should be a political asset to the party. A strong environmental platform has played a key role in previous election wins, including 2019. In this campaign, they should be championing their green successes and setting out a bold, conservative plan to build on them rather than rowing back."

“While Reform UK is clearly a significant electoral threat to the Conservatives and the locals show they are able to achieve a reasonable vote share in some key seats, going slower on climate action won’t work as an electoral strategy, as this polling shows. The party would lose more of its current voters to Labour and the Liberal Democrats than it would gain from those switching back from Reform UK. The strategy also fundamentally misunderstands that Conservative to Reform UK switchers are above all concerned by immigration. 

“Voters across the political spectrum want climate action, but the best way to reduce emissions is rightly still being debated. The Tories should respond to this clear desire for climate action, and put forward a pro-market, pro-growth plan to reach net zero in their manifesto.”   


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