Poll shows air quality a ‘major concern’ among voters

Voters want stronger action from government to tackle air pollution, a poll by the Conservative think tank Bright Blue has suggested.

Published last week, the polling data suggested that over two thirds (69%) of all adults in the UK think the government should take steps to reduce air pollution above its current levels, with over half of those aged under 40 believing the UK should have cleaner air than other European countries.

40% of adults in the UK would be more likely to vote for a party which promised to tackle air pollution, polling has suggested

The survey by Opinium, also suggested that 71% of UK adults are either somewhat or very concerned about air pollution for their own health, and the health of other people.

Concern about the health impacts of air pollution is greatest in London, with 80% of those polled expressing concern over the issue, compared to 66% in the North West and East Midlands.

Nearly half of UK adults (47%) believe the government is not doing enough to tackle air pollution, with a majority (54%) of under 40s believing the government is not doing enough, the poll indicates.

Over two thirds (69%) of all adults in the UK think the government should reduce air pollution above its current levels, including a majority of Conservative voters (66%).

Voter choice

40% of adults in the UK would be more likely to vote for a party which promised to tackle air pollution, rising to 54% among under 40s, the poll also suggested.

When asked who they thought was most responsible for tackling air pollution, 57% of UK adults said it should be the national government, significantly outranking individuals and heavy industry (both at 10%), and car companies (5%).

Just 4% of people thought local authorities should be most responsible for tackling air pollution.

Commenting on the findings, Eamonn Ives, researcher at Bright Blue, said: “The government’s plans for reducing air quality have been widely criticised and deemed inadequate by the High Court. The public clearly believe national government should play a bigger role – in fact the biggest role – in introducing measures to reduce air pollution. The government should be helping to establish a larger network of low emission zones across England.”