Press Releases

68% of those in Labour-held marginal seats in North & Midlands say climate change important deciding factor when voting at this election

New polling from NEF and Survation finds climate change to be an important factor at this election and majority support for government creating green jobs

New polling out today finds that 68% of those polled in 45 Labour-held marginal seats being targeted in the North and Midlands consider climate change to be important when deciding who to vote for at the coming general election. The polling carried out by Survation for the New Economics Foundation (NEF) also found that almost 59% of those polled in the 45 seats supported government intervention to create green jobs’ in the energy sector and through home refurbishments in their constituencies.

The polling used a representative sample of over 3000 people in the North and Midlands, including 505 in 45 Labour heartland marginal seats such as Barrow and Furness, Bishop Auckland, Don Valley, Keighley, Sedgefield, Sheffield, Hallam and Workington.

A new report published today from NEF shows that some areas of the country are disproportionately reliant on clusters of high-carbon industry – the east and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber are particularly exposed in England. These have lower levels of GVA per capita and have experienced industrial decline. There are 10 local authorities where climate critical’ jobs – those that are exposed to changes in climate policy and climate change in some way – account for more than 30% of employment. The report outlines a number of concrete ways for the next government to deliver jobs and investment directly to communities on the scale demanded by the climate crisis

Looking at the entire sample across the whole of the North and the Midlands climate change was considered an important factor in voting at this general election by 70% of people, and specifically by:

  • 76% of those in the east Midlands
  • 69% of those in the West Midlands
  • 67% of those in Yorkshire and The Humber
  • 67% of those in the north-east
  • 71% of those in the north-west

The polling from the entire North and Midlands region also shows that there was majority support in all regions for the creation of green jobs by the government with the highest support in the east Midlands and the north-west at 63%. With West Midlands (56%), Yorkshire and Humber (59%) and north-east (57%) all have support above 55%. Then looking specifically at the polling in the marginal seats, 60% said they support the creation of green jobs in the 17 ultra marginal seats including Ashfield, Barrow and Furness and Keighley.

Further to this at least a third respondents (34%) in the marginal seats said that they would be more likely to vote for a party that promised to create green jobs’ in their constituency. The polling from the sample of over 3000 people across the whole of the north and the midlands shows that the highest support for this was in the north-west (40%), closely followed by the east Midlands (38%), north-east (38%), West Midlands (37%) and Yorkshire and Humber (34%).

The polling from all of the North and Midlands also shows that both leave and remain voters consider climate a key issue at this election with 63% of leave votes and 82% of remain voters saying climate was an important issue in deciding who to vote for at this election. 55% of leave votes and 72% of remain votes also said they would support government intervention in the creation of green jobs.

The polling also illustrates the urgent need for local as well as national solutions to the climate crisis and why a just transition for people and places essential as a fundamental part of a Green New Deal. New work published today from NEF recommends:

  • A localised Just Transition Fund
    Government should be borrowing to invest 2% of GDP a year to deliver a Green New Deal – half of which should be devolved to create local Just Transition Funds. This should be topped up by redirecting current economic support for fossil fuels as this is phased out. This would be weighted towards regions facing the largest transition risks. It would be designed to support locally led reskilling, trade union and civil society engagement with economic planning, local authority capacity building, mapping of transition needs, and the construction of investment plans.
  • Localised national carbon budgets
    National carbon budgets should be mapped against the needs of regions or localities in a way that reflects the different carbon reduction trajectories of different parts of the UK.
  • A national Green New Deal just transition strategy for the whole of government, and particularly the Treasury, to align around.
  • Enhanced union legislation to enable unions to be able to organise around the environmental sustainability of their workplace and change legislation so they can take part in national and local just transition planning.
  • End to all economic support for high-carbon energy by 2023 at the absolute latest, with support redirected to clean energy as a Just Transition Fund.

David Powell, Head of Environment and Green Transition at the New Economics Foundation said:

This was supposed to be a Brexit election, but it’s rapidly become a climate election. This has been a year of extraordinary awareness and activism on climate breakdown that has changed politics forever. The public not only care, but they are demanding serious action from whoever wins the election – and whoever represents them in the next Parliament.

At the very core of what climate action means is delivering decent, well paid and unionised jobs in the parts of the country that most need them. Decades of deindustrialisation have resulted from uncaring government policy, which has put the needs of international moneymen over communities and workers. Whoever wins the election must bring in a Green New Deal – a joined up plan for delivering jobs and investment on the scale demanded by the climate crisis directly to the communities that have been abandoned.“

Doug Parr, Policy Director for Greenpeace UK said:

With soggy memories of recent flooding fresh in the minds of many living in the north, job opportunities beckoning from a green economy, and the climate emergency a high priority for most people, it’s hardly surprising that the crisis is going to influence how they will vote.

Our manifesto ranking, which we have launched today, shines a spot light on those who have the task of political leadership to address the climate and nature emergencies, and those that are failing to take these existential crises seriously enough.”


Sofie Jenkinson,, 07981023031

Notes to editors

The full tables from Survation are available at https://​cdn​.sur​va​tion​.com/​w​p​-​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​2​0​1​9​/​1​1​/​2​7​1​2​5​5​1​2​/​N​e​w​-​E​c​o​n​o​m​i​c​s​-​F​o​u​n​d​a​t​i​o​n​-​E​n​v​i​r​o​n​m​e​n​t​-​P​o​l​l​.xlsx. For further information about the definition of marginal’ seats used here please see the Constituency Definitions’ tab which gives a breakdown of the swing needed in each of the seats looked at (between 0 – 15%).

This polling was commissioned by the New Economics Foundation and carried out by Survation between 21st — 22nd November 2019 via online panel with an overall sample of 3,042 and within that 505 from the marginal seats. Data was analysed and weighted by Survation.

Data were weighted to the profile of all adults in the North and Midlands aged 18+. Data were weighted by age, sex, region, education, 2017 General Election Vote, 2016 EU Referendum Vote and 2019 European Parliament Election.

Because only a sample of the full population was interviewed, all results are subject to margin of error, meaning that not all differences are statistically significant.

The New Economics Foundation is a charitable think tank. We are wholly independent of political parties and committed to being transparent about how we are funded.

Full list of marginal seats that were polled:



Birmingham, nfield

Barrow and Furness

Blackpool South


Bishop Auckland

Bolton North East

Bury South

Bury North

Colne Valley


Crewe and Nantwich


Don Valley

Derby North


Dudley North


Great Grimsby


High Peak



Lancaster and Fleetwood

Leeds North West



Penistone and Stocksbridge

Rother Valley



Sheffield, Hallam

Stockton South

Stoke-On-Trent Central

Stoke-On-Trent North


Warrington South

Warwick and Leamington

Weaver Vale

West Bromwich West

Wirral West

Wolverhampton North East

Wolverhampton South West


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