The next generation of Conservative MPs place climate change at the bottom of their list of priorities, a survey has found
The results cast doubt over David Cameron insistence that the environment remains a policy priority.
"Reducing Britain's carbon footprint" was rated the lowest of 19 possible priorities for a Conservative government in a poll of 141 Tory candidates in "winnable seats".
Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome website, which carried out the survey, said Mr Cameron could face rebellion from backbenchers over the issue and described it as the "new Europe" for the Conservatives.
He said: "Europe has divided the Tories since the late 1980s. Could climate change cause similar problems? David Cameron needs to proceed cautiously on this issue if he is to keep the Conservative coalition together."