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Many voters in Britain’s most rural constituencies are worried about climate change and support net zero

MANY voters in Britain’s most rural constituencies are worried about climate change and support net zero and local renewables, polling suggests.

A survey for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit think tank (ECIU) backs up other polling showing Labour pulling ahead of the Tories in their traditional heartlands, with 35 per cent of the vote.

That compares with 30 per cent for the Conservatives — down from 50 per cent in 2019.

And it finds 58 per cent support new onshore wind in their local area, while 64 per cent back a solar farm — with even higher levels of support among those who have swung from the Tories to Labour.

The polling quizzed people in 30 of Britain’s most “highly rural” seats including PM Rishi Sunak’s Richmond and Northallerton constituency.

It revealed rural voters are more concerned about climate change and more supportive of net zero — a goal to end Britain’s contribution to global warming by 2050 by cutting emissions to zero overall — than the national average.

And swing voters heading from the Tories to Labour were even more supportive of climate action — although those abandoning the Conservatives in favour of Reform UK were less so.

Tom Lancaster of ECIU said: “It makes total sense that voters in the most rural seats show high levels of support for net zero, when they see first hand the impacts of climate change on farming and wildlife, and are often at greater risk of flooding.

“To win the respect of voters in these new electoral battlegrounds, all political parties are likely to need a strong offer on climate change, and should be wary of finding themselves on the wrong side of the debate from voters in these vital rural seats.”

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