Monday, May 09, 2011

Financial Times poll finds 89% "would be cross" at nuclear new build

The vast majority of people in Britain do not want new nuclear power stations.

In a Populus poll for the Financial Times (FT) conducted between April 21st and April 25th, in answer to the question "Would you be cross if a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK was to go ahead?" 89% said yes and only 11% said no.

However, the poll was reported in the FT yesterday, as being supportive of nuclear power post-Fukushima!

Under the headline "Fukushima fails to dent UK nuclear support", Kiran Stacey wrote "The Populus survey found more than eight in 10 people were either fully supportive of nuclear as the best way to tackle climate change or thought it might have a role to play in the UK’s future energy mix."

By combining answers to two different questions, he achieves a contrasting statistic. But if you download and read the actual survey, a very different picture emerges.

The survey did find that 42% were in favour of building new nuclear power plants, and 31% against. But 27% were "don't knows", meaning that it is more accurate to say that well below half of British people support new nuclear power stations.

Surveys often ask the same question in different ways to determine whether it is the form of the question that is influencing the answer.

Interestingly, across all the questions, many more women than men are against nuclear power, supporting my tentative and un-researched hunch which I wrote about last week, that more men, in particular alpha males (ie FT readers in particular!), support the technology.

Why do you think the FT is twisting the survey result this way?

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