Anti-wind stance a 'UK vote loser'

British politicians who oppose onshore wind development are out of step with public support for the renewable source and set to lose votes, according to research for industry group RenewableUK.

Polling from research specialist ComRes suggests that in the 40 most marginal constituencies between Conservative and Labour – the UK’s two biggest parties –four times as many people would be put off by an anti-onshore wind stance than would back it.

Overall, 30% of Britons said they would be less likely to vote for a party that opposes deployment of more onshore wind, against 15% who would be more inclined to do so.

The result is in line with previous studies showing broad public backing for wind development in Britain, where a national election will be held in May 2015.

The Conservative party has said it will end government support for new onshore wind plants if it wins power outright – it currently governs in coalition with the more renewables-friendly Liberal Democrats.

"This 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," said RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery.

"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," she added.