Conducted by polling consultancy ComRes, the research, published today, shows that 34% of voters are more likely to support candidates who are in favour of building wind farms.

Set to coincide with the local elections, which are taking place in 35 areas of England, the research found that in every region more people would vote for a candidate who supported wind farms than would be put off by their support.

In addition, it suggested that all three mainstream parties would benefit from taking a positive stance on wind power.

Among those planning to vote for the Conservatives, 33% said that they are more likely to support a candidate who backs the building of wind farms, while that number rose to 40% of those planning to vote for Labour and 41% of those planning to vote for the Liberal Democrats.

This contrasts with local election candidates who support hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, where only 20% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported the technology and 26% said they would be less likely to do so.

Wind power trade association RenewableUK’s CEO Maria McCaffery said: “On the eve of local elections the message is clear – supporting wind farms gains votes. Right across England we saw more people would be motivated to support a local candidate who backed wind farms than those who oppose them – the opposite of what a vocal minority sometimes claims.

“The results of this polling will provide a boost to local politicians to allow them to do what’s right for the country – developing our massive renewable energy resources. Whilst we’ve seen before how popular onshore wind farms are with the general population, this research proves that people carry that conviction to the ballot box, and if politicians speak out in support of wind energy they can reap the benefits.”

ComRes also tested voter intentions for the next General Election, finding that most favoured political parties with policies that support wind energy.

According to this research, one-third of voters (31%) are less likely to vote for a political party that is opposed to wind farms, compared with 27% who would be more likely to vote for an anti-wind party.

Conor McGlone

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