A press release from the UK Green Party says:
A survey carried out by the Green Party shows overwhelming opposition to Government nuclear plans
Energy Survey shows 87% of public opposed to new nuclear power stations
89% agree ‘the Government had already decided what they wanted to do about nuclear power stations before this debate started’
66% will take part in mass protests against nuclear power, if new stations are approved
So far so good, except…
The data reported covers a survey of 524 people interviewed between 01 February and 18th April 2006. Fieldwork was split between 324 people taking part at the Greenenergyworks website and 190 interviewed via self completion questionnaires distributed public meetings and street stalls held by local Green Party groups across England and Wales. Quality systems were included such that no respondent could complete the survey more than once.
They did not survey a random sample of the population so the survey is worthless as a measure of what the public thinks. I suspect that people who visit Green Party street stalls or web sites are more likely to oppose nuclear power than the general population.
Unfortunately the bogus survey made it into the Independent:
The Green Party published the results of a survey of 500 members of the public, which it said “dramatically” highlighted public opposition to a new generation of nuclear power stations.
Almost nine out of 10 people rejected the nuclear option, while 98% backed greater investment in renewable energy and 99% said more should be done to promote energy-saving measures in the home.
“This puts paid to any suggestion that nuclear power is accepted as a necessary evil by the UK,” said party spokesman Keith Taylor.
“Despite the Government’s ceaseless attempts to frame the debate as one of ‘nuclear, or the lights go out’, the British public are not convinced.”
References to the poll appear in a Google News Search in the Guardian and the Telegraph, but not in the linked stories.
Renewables alone cannot fill energy gap, says Darling
Guardian Unlimited, UK – Jul 11, 2006
… The Green party published the results of a survey of 500 members of the public, which, it said … Almost nine out of 10 people rejected the nuclear option …
Key energy review backs nuclear power
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom – Jul 11, 2006
… In an opinion poll commissioned for the party, almost nine out of 10 people rejected the nuclear option, while 98 per cent backed greater investment in …
It looks like those two papers realized that the poll was worthless and corrected their stories but the original version was still in Google’s cache.
Many thanks to Naadir Jeewa who sent me the press release from the Green Party and found the disappearing Guardian reference.