- New poll reveals rare cross-party unity as the Government moves to secure Parliamentary approval for Heathrow expansion next year
- A record 74% of MPs now back a third runway, a jump of 7 percentage points since the last poll in August before the Government announcement on expansion
- MPs now view Heathrow expansion as the infrastructure project most likely to benefit the whole country and bring the most long term benefits
The expansion of Heathrow has emerged as a bright spot for Parliament – with 74% of MPs now saying they back a third runway at Britain’s hub airport, a record level for the project.
As the Government announced its backing for the project in October, MPs ranked an expanded Heathrow as one of Britain’s top infrastructure projects – providing the most long-term benefit to the economy and benefitting all the regions of the UK. With support for the project remaining at a similar level both immediately before and after the Government’s announcement, the ranking suggests MPs views may be driven by a belief that an expanded Heathrow will help to create jobs in Britain and rebalance growth across on the country.
A jump in Conservative support from the last poll in August from 71% to 80% of Conservative MPs saying they would vote for a third runway at Heathrow demonstrates that Tory MPs are now decisively in favour of the project.
In further show of Parliamentary unity, 75% of Labour MPs declared they would back a vote on a third Heathrow runway, meaning that there would be an overwhelming Parliamentary endorsement of the project if a vote were held today.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“Heathrow expansion has more political support than ever before because MPs understand that a third Heathrow runway equips our country with the tools we need to thrive in the 21st century. This is why we have the confidence to invest in and to deliver Britain’s new runway.”
An expanded Heathrow will deliver up to £211bn of economic growth and create up to 180,000 new skilled jobs for the UK and can be done while reducing noise for local communities and in accordance with EU air quality law. An expanded Heathrow will be the largest private infrastructure project in Europe and will maximise opportunities for British businesses of all sizes.
New hub capacity at Heathrow will allow up to 40 more long haul destinations, such as Wuhan, Osaka and Quito, making Britain the best connected country in the world. It will increase the number of domestic routes served, ensuring every region and nation of the UK can get to global markets and increase cargo capacity, supporting Britain’s exporters.
Notes to Editors:
ComRes surveyed 130 MPs online and by paper self-completion questionnaire between 4th October and 18th November 2016. Data were weighted to reflect the exact composition of the House of Commons in terms of party representation and regional constituency distribution. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables are available on the ComRes website, www.comresglobal.com