Conservative voters are now net supportive of shale gas extraction
The government has today lifted the 2019 ban on fracking for shale gas. Business and energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has said the move would enhance the UK’s energy security in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although with experts saying it could take a decade for the gas to flow, it is unlikely to help in the short term.
Shales gas has proved a historically very unpopular form of energy generation. Now new YouGov tracker data – conducted prior to the government’s lifting of the ban – shows that, although opposition to extracting shale gas dropped, it has since levelled off, and opposition remains substantially higher than support.
Having been stable until June 2021, opposition to fracking for shale gas dropped from 59% to 46% in May, while support rose from 17% to 29%. However, there has been no movement since then, even as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, with 47% now saying they do not think shale gas should be extracted and 28% saying it should.
Conservative voters have changed their minds on the subject, however. While in December they were as opposed to fracking as they had been for the prior two years (by 48% to 30%), by the time of the next survey in May they had come to support shale gas extraction by 44% to 33%. Those figures currently stand at 46% and 30%, respectively.
Labour voters continue to be substantially opposed to shale gas extraction, by 65% to 15%. This opposition is, however, still down somewhat from a high of 75% in June 2021.