LDV survey: 68% of Lib Dem members back nuclear as party of UK’s energy mix

by Stephen Tall on August 28, 2010

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of a variety of key issues, and what you make of the Lib Dems’ and Government’s performance to date. Almost 600 party members have responded, and we’ll be publishing the full results of our survey in the next few days.

First up we asked about Chris Huhne’s announcement that he is now backing nuclear power in order to ensure the stability of Britain’s energy supplies.

Do you believe Chris Huhne is right to say that nuclear power, alongside oil and gas and renewable sources, should be part of the UK’s energy mix?

    41% – Yes, nuclear should be part of the mix as long as there is no public subsidy
    27% – Yes, nuclear should be part of the mix even if some public subsidy proves necessary
    25% – No, nuclear power should play no part in the UK’s energy mix
    4% – Other
    4% – Don’t know / No opinion

In total then 68% of our sample of Lib Dem members back an acceptance of nuclear energy as part of the UK’s energy mix, with only one-quarter rejecting nuclear power (as per party policy at the last election). Comments from those in the pro-nuclear camp suggested some relief at the party’s U-turn:

I have been slightly at odds with official policy on this matter for some time. This is a recent volte face for me, but I think the need for eliminating as much CO2 emissions as possible outweighs the negative effects of nuclear energy at this time.

I am against the use of nuclear power, but I recognise that in order to reduce carbon emmissions in the short to medium term it may be necessary to open a small number of new nuclear power stations in order to cut oil and gas use and a increase renewable energy.

I have always argued for a balanced and comprehensive energy policy, which could include nuclear energy. I believe that when conference voted against nuclear some year ago that this was a “single issue” decision based on false ideological considerations. We need to get real on this.

You can access all the results of past Lib Dem Voice surveys of party members here.