Having assumed the Prime Minister post at a time of high inflation and a geopolitical conflict with one of the biggest energy suppliers to Europe, Russia, Liz Truss is faced with difficult dilemmas in the realm of energy. Bills are expected to skyrocket after Ofgem’s announcement of an 80% increase in the energy price cap in late August, increasing the average annual gas and electricity bill from £1,971 to £3,549.
The latest research conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies finds that a majority of Britons are both very aware of and deeply concerned about rising energy bills. 78% of respondents have heard or read a significant amount about the rising costs of energy, while 69% say rising energy bills have mattered to them a significant amount.
When asked about the extent to which they are concerned about their energy bills, 49% say they are very concerned, 29% are fairly concerned, and only 7% are not at all concerned.
As such, a clear majority of Brits support Prime Minister Liz Truss’s plan announced on 8 September to freeze energy bills at an average of £2,500 a year. This support is shared by 65% of respondents, including 77% of likely Conservative voters in the next general election, as well as a clear majority of likely Labour voters (63%). These numbers are particularly notable given that the polling question mentioned the potential cost of the freeze (£90 billion).
Altogether, respondents would not say they have an informed opinion of Truss’s plan. Possibly because our polling was conducted only a day after the plan had been announced and before its details were specified, most respondents (52%) said they had heard only a slight amount or nothing at all about the plan. This particular knowledge varies somewhat by partisan affiliation, however, with likely Conservative voters being more likely (63%) than likely Labour voters (50%) to have heard or read a significant or fair amount about this plan.
Meanwhile, almost no partisan differences are observed on the logistics of the freeze, with an overwhelming majority (67%, including 65% of likely Conservative voters and 63% of likely Labour voters) supporting a freeze for the entire UK population, rather than ‘only for those who need it.’