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Countryside-loving millennials will vote to save green spaces, new research shows

A girl and woman walk a dog through ferns in a green landscape
Enjoying a summer walk in Northumberland National Park iStock

19 November 2019

Countryside-loving millennials could swing the General Election in favour of the political party that has policies most likely to protect and enhance the countryside.

A new poll commissioned by CPRE, the countryside charity, reveals that:

  • Overall, 60% of people said they would be more likely to vote for a political party that wants to protect and enhance the countryside, including the Green Belt, and just 1% say they would be less likely;
  • On the same question, 71% of people aged 25-34 felt strongly about this;
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of 35-44 year olds and 57% of 45-54 year olds said policies relating to the countryside would affect their decision in the polling booth; and
  • Regionally, Londoners feel particularly strongly about protecting and enhancing our green spaces, with 73% saying this mattered to them when deciding who to vote for.

The research is published on the same day as CPRE’s countryside manifesto, which includes 12 recommendations for how the next government can harness the potential of the countryside to promote a healthier economy and happier communities.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘This research turns long-held assumptions on their heads with millennials and Londoners being most likely to vote with the countryside in mind.

More and more young people are aware of the need to invest in their health and well-being, which is something that the countryside can deliver. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Londoners, who are arguably most in need of time in nature, are more likely than any other region to vote with policies to protect green spaces in mind.

‘But more than that, the survey results show overwhelmingly that protecting and enhancing the countryside is an issue that resonates with people of all ages and in all regions.It shows that countryside issues could be one of the deciding factors in determining which political party forms the next government.

CPRE therefore urges all political parties to put measures to protect and enhance our countryside front and centre of their manifestos to ensure that our treasured landscapes will be available for now and future generations to come.’

Notes to editors: This online survey of 2,000 English adults (who are parents) was commissioned by CPRE and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society’s code of conduct. Data was collected between 08/11/2019 and 13/11/2019. All participants are double-opted in to take part in research and are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. This survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team, who are members of the MRS and have corporate membership to ESOMAR.

A regional breakdown of statistics by age, gender and region is available on request.

For further information please call Media Relations Lead, Faith Mall, on 020 7981 2819 / 077 3933 2796.