Thousands of Lancashire voters could turn their backs on pro-fracking candidates in a protest vote which would influence the outcome of the general election across some of the county’s key marginal seats, new research shows.
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More than one in three (39%) local people say they would be less inclined – and one in five (21%) much less inclined – to vote for candidates backing fracking in their constituencies, according to a major survey of over 2,000 Lancashire residents. This compares with just 24% who say they would be more inclined to do so.
Nearly one in four Tory (24%) and over one in three Lib Dem voters (39%) also say they would be less likely to vote for a pro-fracking candidate despite their party’s support for shale, according to a Redshift survey for Greenpeace UK.
The Frack Free Promise
With just a week to go before the election, 1,100 candidates from all the main parties have made a public promise to oppose fracking in their constituencies. They include about a quarter of all Lib Dem and Labour prospective MPs.
In two Lancashire seats – Fylde and Lancaster and Fleetwood – half of the candidates or more have already made the Frack Free Promise, including Tory incumbent Eric Ollerenshaw.
Use Greenpeace’s interactive map to find out whether your candidate MPs have signed the Frack Free Promise and committed to oppose fracking if they’re elected.
A ballot box backlash
Greenpeace has also identified the eight seats in Lancashire where the incumbents could face a ballot box backlash over fracking. These are the top marginal seats in the county where the majority candidates have neither publicly opposed fracking in their constituencies nor voted for a fracking moratorium.
Across all eight seats – four held by the Tories, three by Labour, and one by the Lib Dem – the number of voters who say they would be less likely to vote for a pro-fracking candidate exceeds the narrow majorities defended by the incumbents.
A ‘fracking swing’ in Lancashire could end up influencing the balance of power emerging from the closest election in memory.