Support for fracking has fallen to a new low, according to an official Government survey.
Only a fifth of people (21 per cent) back extracting shale gas for use in the UK, the lowest level of support since the quarterly public attitudes survey by the Department of Energy and Climate Change first quizzed people on the issue in December 2013.
Overall 28 per cent of people opposed fracking, with 46 per cent expressing no opinion either way, the survey of 2,118 UK households found.
But the level of opposition was higher among people who said they knew about fracking, with 54 per cent of those who know a lot about the process opposing it, compared to 32 per cent backing it.
The only group who were more supportive were those who said they knew nothing about it, according to the poll which was conducted in late June, as the debate raged over two proposed fracking sites in Lancashire.
Friends of the Earth senior energy campaigner Donna Hume said: “It’s little surprise that the more people find out about the risks of fracking, the more they oppose it.
“Instead of blindly championing dirty fracking, the Government should throw its weight behind the UK’s huge clean energy potential, which is far more popular with the public - and give David Cameron a much-needed credibility boost ahead of this year’s climate talks in Paris.”