Media Releases | 26th Mar, 2018

Renewable energy could be the key to Victoria’s November state election

New polling in Victoria’s sandbelt seats in south-east Melbourne has shown that backing renewable energy is a vote winner, while parties who undermine renewable energy or back coal power will lose support at the ballot box.

The polling, commissioned by Environment Victoria and conducted by ReachTEL in early March 2018, found that Victoria’s renewable energy target is a major vote winner for the ALP while Opposition Leader Matthew Guy’s plans to repeal the renewable energy target would cost the Liberals votes in electorates crucial to the election outcome.

Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham today said:

“Across the sandbelt our polling confirms that voters in suburban electorates want more renewable energy and are concerned about the state’s ongoing reliance on coal.

“Over 50% of voters say that Labor’s renewable energy target makes them more likely to vote Labor.

“On the other hand, Matthew Guy’s promise to keep coal-burning power stations open has little public support, with less than 30% of voters saying the policy makes them more likely to vote for the Coalition.

“Every time Matthew Guy talks down Victoria’s renewable energy sector he’s losing support in the sandbelt.

“The sustained and concerted attacks on renewable energy by Coalition parties at both federal and state level have simply failed to resonate with Victorians. The Coalition needs a new election strategy that embraces renewable energy if they want to appeal to Victorians in November and have a responsible plan to address global warming.

The research also shows that ‘a lack of political will’ is seen as the number one barrier to building more renewable energy – overshadowing perceptions of cost and reliability issues.

“The message to all political parties this election is clear: we need to get serious about building large scale renewable energy and transitioning away from burning coal. This is what the public wants to see from their political candidates.

“Eight months out from the election, over a third of voters have yet to decide their vote. This means there’s ample time for all political parties to put forward ambitious plans to increase the amount of renewable energy in Victoria.

“Our research shows that voters are looking for leadership – because they know renewables are capable of powering our state and that renewable energy will create jobs, reduce energy bills and cut greenhouse pollution.”

Key findings:

  • ReachTEL conducted a survey on 9 March of 2939 residents across the Victorian state electorates of Carrum, Mordialloc, Bentleigh and Frankston.
  • Renewable energy is overwhelming popular, with 73% of voters wanting to increase the amount of wind and solar in Victoria and only 12% of voters believing we should have less renewable energy.
  • 51% of voters say that the Andrews government’s Renewable Energy Target makes them more likely to vote Labor.
  • 52% of voters say plans to cut the Renewable Energy Target make them less likely to vote Liberal.
  • 47% of voters say they are less likely to vote for Matthew Guy as a result of his promise to keep coal-fired power stations open.
  • 51% of voters believe that a ‘lack of political will’ is the most significant barrier to rolling out renewable energy among all voting groups – compared to only 20% who see costs as the greatest barrier and 17% who see reliability as the greatest barrier.

Download the polling (PDF).

For interview and further comment

Mark Wakeham, Environment Victoria CEO
Mobile: 0439 700 501

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