Almost half of voters in constituencies lost by the Tories think that Sunak was wrong to weaken climate commitments, poll shows

Increased taxes on the wealthiest and Labour’s plans for GB Energy prove popular policies

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Following a humiliating election defeat for the Conservatives, a landslide victory for the new Labour government, but also a surge in votes for Green and Lib Dem candidates, new MRP polling, commissioned by Greenpeace UK, suggests that concerns over climate and nature issues may have influenced the way in which people voted.

The detailed, constituency level polling of over 10,000 people across Great Britain by Survation, shows that, in the 251 seats lost by the Conservatives, almost half of those surveyed think that the Conservative Party was wrong to weaken its commitments on climate change and the environment. Less than one third thought that the party was right to weaken its commitments.

In the South East – where the Conservatives lost 51 seats – one in four voters said that it was the party’s stance on climate change and the environment that was a key reason they were not voting for them.

Policies related to climate change and the environment were important to the majority (55%) of all respondents, however, in the Blue Wall – former Tory heartlands in the South of England – issues such as the sewage crisis were a major concern for voters. 

The Conservatives lost 37 out of 52 of these seats, with 24 of them going to the Lib Dems, who stood on much bolder climate and nature pledges than even the Labour party. Tackling the sewage crises, which was a flagship policy for the Lib Dems, was universally popular with polling respondents in this region, with more than two thirds (70%) of voters in the South of England stating support for setting legal targets for eliminating sewage spills. 

Half of voters (49%) in Blue Wall seats lost by the Conservatives, said that they were wrong to weaken their commitments on climate change and the environment, with more voters in key constituencies such as Guilford and Ely expressing the same view (57% for both).

Three in four (74%) Labour voters said that they expect a Labour Government to deliver nature protection, tackle pollution and reduce plastic production. Two thirds (66%) of Labour voters said they expect a Labour Government to increase investment in climate and nature policies. However, prior to the election, Labour scaled back its green spending commitments and there are major gaps in the party’s manifesto on protecting nature and tackling the plastic crisis.

Labour’s plans to roll out GB Energy – a publicly owned clean energy company, which could generate more renewable energy in order to deliver clean energy by 2030, reduce energy bills and provide funding for the just transition for high carbon workers – are supported by a majority of voters of all parties (63%), including 79% of Labour voters and over half (53%) of Conservative voters.

Two in three (62%) of voters support raising wealth and property taxes on the super-rich, a policy that Labour currently has a timid approach towards, but are considering going further on. Similar tax reforms were proposed by the Green Party and Liberal Democrats, who both made significant gains in the election.

Greenpeace highlights that, despite the landslide election victory, these survey results together with the surge in votes for the Green Party and Lib Dems, who made significantly stronger environmental commitments and proposed fair tax reforms, demonstrates that the new Labour government could be much bolder with its green investment plans and commitments to tackling the climate and nature crises.

Greenpeace UK’s climate campaigner, Georgia Whitaker, said:

“This survey shows how Sunak’s divisive anti-green agenda, his net zero rollbacks and his desire to ‘max out’ oil and gas backfired at the ballot box. Not only did it fail to shift the dial with voters but it’s the direct reason many voters in seats the Conservatives have lost chose to vote for other parties.

“Keir Starmer, on the other hand, should take note of the Green surge and the new ‘Orange Wall’ in the south. He may have achieved a historic victory but there is a lot of appetite for much bolder climate action, fairer taxes for the wealthy elite and the kind of investment needed to deliver the real change he is promising.”

ENDS

Contact: Greenpeace UK Press Office – press.uk@greenpeace.org or 020 7865 8255

Notes to editor:

This online survey of 10,289 residents aged 18+ living in Great Britain, was carried out by Survation between 24th June and 3rd July.

Please contact press.uk@greenpeace.org for a full breakdown of the survey results.

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