Voters situated around the Liddell power station are already looking beyond coal to cleaner power sources and tend to blame the federal government for the current state of energy policy.
All but a few believe pressuring AGL to keep its ageing power station operating is the wrong way to go.
A ReachTEL survey of voter attitudes in the blue-collar Labor strongholds of Hunter and Shortland has found that 30 per cent of voters blame the Coalition for the ongoing electricity policy malaise, around twice the number who hold Labor responsible.
The surprising response challenges the assumption in Canberra that the electors most directly affected by the planned 2022 closure of the almost 50-year-old plant would be most wedded to old technology and the strongest critics of AGL's decision to decommission it.
Equally intriguing is that six out of 10 voters see a strong future for renewables in Australia and only 12 per cent favour extending the life of coal-fired power stations.
The poll was commissioned by progressive think tank the Australia Institute and conducted on the evenings of September 15 and 16.
Amid heated internal lobbying within the Coalition parties over energy policy, which has become a cipher for leadership undermining, Treasurer Scott Morrison on Monday openly debunked Tony Abbott's campaign against the Renewable Energy Target, criticised by the former prime minister for preventing new investment in coal.
"The arrangements for the RET are set. I mean, it was renewed where it was when Tony Abbott was prime minister and that was the arrangement that was put in place, and you've got to be careful that when you play around with these things you can run the great risk of further undermining investment going forward and that's not what we want to see happen," Mr Morrison told Sky News.
"We might have many frustrations with it, but that's the set of rules we've inherited and that's what we'll have to continue with."
In recent weeks the federal government has applied unusually public pressure on AGL to either extend the life of Liddell for another five years beyond 2022, or sell it to a competitor to avoid the 1000 megawatts shortfall its closure would cause.
AGL's chief executive Andy Vesey has sought 90 days during which his board would consider the options before responding to the government.
Yet despite that process and the public brow-beating that preceded it, AGL is not expected to delay Liddell's closure nor even sell it to a competitor.
Rather, it is believed to favour meeting electricity demand after 2022 through the use of gas-fired generation and a suite of renewable sources.
The government last week used the uncertainty to accuse the Labor frontbencher and Hunter MP, Joel Fitzgibbon of betraying his constituents by not backing the extension of the Liddell operation, and the use of coal generally.
Branding him "No-Coal-Joel", Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg told Mr Fitzgibbon "you're defending the big energy companies who are making big profits," during a spirited corridor confrontation last week.
But the survey results suggests it is the local member who may have the stronger handle on local sentiment.
In Hunter, where Labor leads the Coalition 60 per cent to 40 per cent, almost half of voters, at 48.9 per cent, say they support AGL's decision, compared to 39 per cent who want the government to ensure it is kept going.
More than 61 per cent said they would "prefer" the government to invest in renewables compared to just 32 per cent who nominated coal. Asked who was "most responsible" for the current uncertainty in energy policy, 28.7 per cent chose the federal government, compared to 17 per cent blaming the opposition and a mere 12.2 per cent who blamed the energy companies.
"Voters also want a clean energy target, and they want an ambitious one, with 45 per cent in both electorates polled supporting a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030, or more, of all electricity generation," said Australia Institute Executive Director, Ben Oquist.
"This polling shows it is not just the experts - voters in coal electorates think government intervention with Liddell is a bad idea too."
Mr Oquist said the government was propounding a myth by suggesting an ageing 50-year old coal plant open was the answer.
"AEMO [Australian Energy Market Operator] did not recommend keeping Liddell open. Its annual report is actually a guide for where the opportunities for investment lie," he said.
Instead, Mr Oquist said, the focus should be on "demand management, renewables, storage and a 'smarter' grid".