by Countryside Alliance

The Countryside Alliance has today published its latest polling, in conjunction with ORB.

Entitled ‘Unpacking the Environment’, the unique research focuses on voter attitudes towards environmental issues. The polling provides a fresh look at the priorities for both rural voters and UK wide voters.

Following the publication, Tim Bonner the Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance said

This research finds that when you actually unpack voters’ concerns on environmental issues, they are clearly much more worried about the planet, than they are about niche animal rights issues like hunting and badger culling. It is telling that four times more people are concerned about the decline in our bee population than they are about fox hunting. This tells us that there is no electoral downside in maintaining robust evidence-based wildlife management policies and that the furore that still exists when talking about  hunting is no way representative of public opinion. Political parties should take note of the issues that people on the ground actually care about

The Countryside Alliance is a membership organisation that campaigns on rural issues. It has over 100,000 members across the country.

Headline figures:

  • Most Conservative voters identify as rural. The polling found that 24% identify as rural or 35% semi-rural. This is compared to 39% who identify as Urban compared to 56% of Labour voters identifying as urban. (N=1339)

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Less than one in six UK adults view animal welfare as an important rural issue, when asked which three issues are the most important for political parties to address.

Hospitals and healthcare topped the poll at 49%, followed by local transport links (37%), then affordable housing at 35%, 27% for the impact of Brexit, 27% for the impact of climate change, 23% for crime, 20% internet access/mobile connectivity, 15% education, 15% immigration and finally, 15% for animal welfare (N=4323)

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  • Only one in twenty GB adults view fox hunting as an important environmental issue, when asked what three issues are the most important for political parties to address.

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  • Less than one in six rural GB adults view animal welfare as an important rural issue.

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  • Less than one in ten rural GB adults view fox hunting as an important environmental issue.

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