Do voters think their own politicians who call for climate action are genuine?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
November 10, 2021, 10:56 AM GMT+0

Britons were doubtful of politicians overall in a previous survey, but what about their own?

Demands for action on the climate crisis have continued to mount since the beginning of COP-26 last week. Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has called on the summit to ensure large companies are not let off the hook by a focus on “long-term goals”. Elsewhere, prime minister Boris Johnson has said that countries must meet promises made on fighting climate change.

However, a YouGov survey last month found that the general public was highly sceptical of politicians - only 13% thought those who call for action on the climate crisis are doing so out of a desire to see progress, while 68% thought they were doing it for a PR boost.

A new survey asked Britons the same question, but specifically for Conservative, Labour, and Green Party politicians. Overall, the public thinks that Tory politicians are more interested in maintaining a good image for themselves (56%) rather than generating action on climate change. Another 45% think the same of Labour politicians.

The public tends to see Green Party politicians as being genuine, however. Half (48%) think their calls for climate action come from wanting to see change, while 22% of people think they too are more interested in their image.

Conservative voters are more sceptical of Conservative politicians than Labour voters are of Labour politicians

Among those who voted Conservative in the 2019 general election, some 47% think their party’s representatives who call for climate measures are only doing so to maintain their personal public image. Only a quarter of Conservative-voting Britons think that Tory politicians who do so want to generate positive action on the climate crisis.

Labour voters, on the other hand, are split when it comes to their own side. A third (34%) think Labour politicians calling for climate measures are doing so to bolster their own reputation and image. Another 37% think Labour politicians who do so are actually trying to generate action on the issue.

See full results here