Only one in five people in the UK is in favour of shale gas extraction by the means of hydraulic fracturing, the lowest level of support since 2013, a new government-funded survey has revealed.
Overall, 28 per cent of respondents of the latest quarterly assessment by the Department of Energy and Climate Change are completely against the controversial method while 46 per cent have no firm opinion.
The survey, involving 2,118 UK households, also revealed that the level of opposition was higher among people who said they had enough information about the shale gas extraction method that involves pumping liquid under pressure into the ground to crack the rock and release the gas.
54 per cent of those who said they knew a lot about the process were against fracking while only 32 per cent were supportive.
The only group who were more supportive than against the process were those who said they knew nothing about the method.
Support for nuclear power has also fallen to the lowest levels seen since DECC has started conducting the survey in 2012 with just a third (33 per cent) of people backing the use of reactors to generate electricity in the UK, while around a quarter (24 per cent) oppose the energy source.
Support for renewables remains very high, with three quarters of those quizzed backing their use, though the proportion of people expressing strong support for renewables was at its lowest since the survey began, at just under a quarter (24 per cent).
Concerns over the cost of energy bills have also fallen to new lows, with just a quarter (25 per cent) very or fairly worried about paying for their energy bills, down from 35 per cent at the same time last year.
Despite efforts to get people to switch supplier to get a better deal on their bills, the number of people who said they would be changing energy company has remained steady, with just 6 per cent having firm plans to do so in the next year and the majority (57 per cent) saying they would not switch.