Polling: What kind of energy investment should the UK Government prioritise?

March 6 2023

Polling carried out by Survation (commissioned by Autonomy) reveals strong support for green energy investment amongst UK councillors, including across political divides.


The full question in the polling from Survation was:


Q1. Which of the following energy sources do you think the government should
prioritise investment for?



Survation surveyed over 700 councillors across all the major political parties including 245 Conservative councillors and 217 Labour councillors.

The results of the polling show that:


  • 88% of councillors think the Government should prioritise investment for offshore wind turbines including 79% of Conservative councillors. 72% support investment for onshore wind turbines.


  • 86% of councillors think the Government should priorities investment for solar panels including 74% of Conservative councillors.
  • In comparison, only 38% of councillors think the Government should prioritise investment for oil extracted from the North Sea and only 23% for gas from fracking.


The polling shows that the political will exists across Local Government for investment in renewable energy and that there is a rejection of more polluting industries such as oil and gas. The independent Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned that the Government’s delivery of their climate plans has been insufficient with the UK off track to meet our net zero targets.


Will Stronge, Director of Research at Autonomy, said:


“The results of this poll are very clear; councillors back new renewable energy projects in their areas and not dirty fossil fuels.

“We need a green industrial revolution and fast. The Government must remove all policy blocks so that councils can get building the wind and solar projects across the country that we so desperately need.

“We don’t have long to meet our net zero targets so the Government must empower councils to take the lead.”


Alethea Warrington, campaigner at climate charity Possible, said:


“It’s not just our climate that is suffering from the failure to get off dirty gas, but also our economy, businesses and communities.

“The vast majority of councillors understand that clean, cheap and secure wind and solar power are the solution but the government still doesn’t get it. 

“Instead, they hold back clean energy, and provide tax breaks for dangerous and polluting new oil and gas projects. The government needs to stop listening to the demands of the fossil fuel industry and start paying attention to local politicians who are reflecting the needs of local people.”