Kevin Hollinrake MP recently put round a survey to get people’s opinions on fracking. Nothing wrong with that, is there? Well, it depends on who you send the survey to, and how you write the questions.
It transpires that the survey was only sent to selected members of the Conservative party, not to his constituents in general. When challenged on this, Mr Hollinrake said “Just because it was only sent to Conservatives does not mean it is unrepresentative.” Come again, Kevin?
The other major problem with the survey is the way the questions have been written. For example:
Would an independent body monitoring developments at every step of the process would (sic) reassure you that fracking was being delivered in a balanced and measured way?
Do you think a better understanding of the visual impact that demonstrated that the process could be done discreetly, would that ease any concerns you have regarding shale gas exploration?
So, no leading questions there, then… For a full report on this survey and reaction from Mr Hollinrake and others, see Drill or Drop.
The reason for such a biased, unrepresentative survey has now become apparent. In correspondence with constituents, Mr Hollinrake is now claiming that the results of his survey show that 76% of people support fracking. His standard letter to constituents includes these paragraphs:
“With regard to your final point about representation of my constituents, you may be interested to know that I conducted a survey amongst members of the association and its supporters. It is part of ongoing communications with members to find out what people think. We have conducted similar surveys on assisted dying and military intervention in Syria. 76% respondents are in favour of fracking. Although this is a limited sample it nonetheless gives me an idea of opinion across the constituency.
I’m sure you will understand that in a situation like this, where opinion is inevitably divided I cannot please everyone. So I have had to look at the whole picture and have concluded that it is an opportunity that cannot be missed for the benefit of our children and their children.”
The survey might give Mr Hollinrake an idea of opinion across Conservative Party members – as those were the only people who fill this in – but to claim that it gives him an idea of opinion across the constituency … that simply cannot be substantiated and is bordering on mendacious.
What surprises us is that with such biased questions and such a selected sample, that 24% of Conservative members DON’T support fracking!
We suggest that people download the survey for themselves, fill in the answers that they feel are appropriate, and send it to his Constituency Office at 9 Hanover House, Market Place, Easingwold, York YO61 3AD.
To download the survey, click on the link below:
Kevin Hollinrake’s Fracking Survey 2016
And for more information about Kevin’s role as cheerleader for the fracking industry, please visit the Kevin Hollinrake – Whose side are you on? page.