DECC published its latest Public Attitudes Tracker (Wave 15) which monitors public attitudes to the Department’s main business priorities. The fifteenth wave of data was collected between 23 September 2015 and 27 September 2015 using face-to-face in-home interviews with a representative sample of 2,121 households in the UK.
On shale gas, the survey found that:
Awareness of fracking has remained stable over the last 18 months.
In September 2015 over half of respondents (56%) reported knowing a lot or a little (14% and 42% respectively) about shale. Just over one in five (21%) reported being aware of it but not really knowing what it was. Awareness of fracking was higher for over 45s (87%), social grade AB (88%), males (84%), and people in rural areas (81%).
When asked whether they support or oppose extracting shale gas, just over four in ten of the public neither supported nor opposed it (43%). Amongst those that did offer an opinion, slightly more opposed (30%) this approach than supported it (23%). This is similar to the findings at wave 14.
Support for fracking differs by gender, with men (30%) more likely than women (17%) to support it. Older people also tend to support fracking the most, with 30% of over 65s saying they support it.
Opposition to fracking is highest amongst those aged 45-54 (38%) and 55-64 (40%), whilst people in rural areas are also slightly more likely to be opposed (33).