A NEW poll for environmental campaign group Greenpeace UK shows opposition to ‘fracking’ for shale gas could help decide the result in five East Lancashire marginal seats.

The county-wide opinion survey showed 39 per cent of those questioned would be less inclined to vote for candidates backing the controversial process in their constituencies.


The poll of 2,082 Lancashire residents revealed 21 per cent would be much less inclined to support such politicians.

This compares with just 24 per cent supporting it.

The results identify that anti-fracking sentiment could affect the result in LibDem-held Burnley, Labour Chorley, currently Tory Rossendale and Darwen, Labour-held Hyndburn, and Conservative Pendle.

Across the five East Lancashire marginals the number of voters less likely to vote for a pro-fracking candidate exceeds the narrow majorities defended by the incumbents.

Nationally, Conservatives, Lib Dems, and Ukip have all confirmed their support for fracking in their election manifesto, while Labour’s backing remains conditional on tougher regulations being introduced.

The Green Party opposes fracking. Its Hyndburn candidate Kerry Gormley said: “At constituency hustings, I have been the only candidate to mention fracking and have received applause.”

Tory Jake Berry, defending Rossendale and Darwen, said: “I did not vote in favour of fracking in the last parliament. I need to be convinced it can be done safely.”

Burnley LibDem candidate Gordon Birtwistle said: “I support fracking providing it can be done safely.”