Around half of voters in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party favor re-nationalising the energy industry, according to a poll released today as rising energy prices put pressure on household budgets.
The UK government is increasingly being called upon to step up its action to help Britons with their energy bills, which are expected to rise by 80% to an average of £3,549 a year from October, as wholesale prices of natural gas reached record levels.
This YouGov poll, carried out on behalf of The Times newspaper, shows that 47% of those currently planning to vote Conservative at the next election favor a return to public ownership of energy companies, while 28% oppose and 25% don’t know with certainty.
Among those who voted Tory in the last election in 2019, 53% support the renationalisation of energy companies.
Britain’s electricity providers were privatized by Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher more than 30 years ago. Although the opposition Labor Party has previously called for energy companies to be nationalized again, its current leader, Keir Starmer, has said it would be better to spend the money directly to reduce people’s bills.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is the favorite in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, which is expected to end on September 5, has said she favors tax cuts over direct aid to help the world address the cost of living crisis.
The YouGov poll, which was carried out last Tuesday and Wednesday, ahead of the latest announcement from regulators of the rise in energy bills, also found that 55% of respondents say they will need to turn down the thermostat or cut back on heating use in the coming months.
21% of respondents also said they would be able to heat their home “only on a very limited basis” and 5% said they did not think they would be able to heat it at all.
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