Strong anti-wind rhetoric could be a downfall to the parties that carry it towards the 2014 Victorian State election. Research has shown that opposition to onshore wind technology could jeopardise the coalition’s re-election chances in November, as voters can be turned off by such sentiment.
A political party adopting an anti-onshore wind policy is likely to lose votes, according to research commissioned by RenewableUK.
The research carried out by ComRes has revealed that political parties that are against onshore wind development are likely to lose twice as many votes as they gain.
ComRes conducted an independent opinion poll of more than 2,000 adults and found that 30% of people would be less likely to vote for a party that proposed to halt further onshore wind developments, with only 15% being more likely to.
In the 40 most marginal Conservative/Labour constituencies, the margin doubles with parties opposing onshore wind losing four times more voters than they secure.
About 39% said they would be less likely to vote for an anti-wind farm national party and only 10% were more likely to support them.
The study also indicated that local candidates who are in favour of onshore wind are likely to see an increase in their support with 23% of adults in the region said they would be more likely to support such a candidate, when compared to just 16% who may be less likely to.
RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said the poll shows that anti-onshore wind policy is a clear vote-loser, with Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem voters turned off by anti-onshore rhetoric.
“Those who espouse anti-wind views should pay particular attention to results in the marginal seats which will determine the next election. The public understands that we need more onshore wind,” McCaffery added.
McCaffery noted that onshore wind is the cheapest form of low carbon technology, and provided enough power for 3.8 million households in 2013.
“Voters understand it’s wrong to rule out further onshore wind and will not back candidates who try to. This sends a clear message to politicians to back this technology and the 19,000 people who work in the industry,” McCaffery said.