Press Office

Thursday 21 Aug 2014

Press Releases

More than a third of people not heard of Liberal Democrat leader, suggests Newsnight poll

More than a third of people (36%) have not heard of the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, according to an opinion poll carried out by ORB for BBC Two's Newsnight.

When asked whether they had a favourable or unfavourable opinion of Nick Clegg, 28% said they had an unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion; 36% said they had a favourable or very favourable opinion.

But an equal number (36%) said they had never heard of him.

Asked to name who they thought would make the best Prime Minister, just over one in 10 (11%), said Nick Clegg.

The poll also suggests that, among those who voted Liberal Democrat at the last election in 2005, around one in three named the Liberal Democrat leader as the man who would make the better Prime Minister.

But even more former Liberal Democrat voters, around two in five, said David Cameron would make the better Prime Minister.

More than a quarter (26%) of those polled did think that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats "represents change in politics". That was fewer than those who said David Cameron and the Conservatives (42%) "represents change in politics" but more than those that said Gordon Brown and Labour (14%).

Finally, when asked which UK political leader, if any, is most like Barack Obama, 3% said Nick Clegg.

But double that number (6%) said the Liberal Democrats Treasury spokesman Vince Cable was like the US President.

The opinion poll is part of an exercise conducted for Newsnight for the party conference season.

Newsnight has invited American Pollster, Cornell Belcher, to find out what the public in the UK make of their politicians.

His second film focussing on opinions towards the Liberal Democrats can be seen on tonight's Newsnight (Monday 21 September).

Two further films will broadcast during the conference season focusing on Labour and the Conservatives.

Cornell Belcher employs many of the polling techniques he developed when working for the Democratic Party and Barack Obama ahead of last year's Presidential election.

On his first visit to Britain, Belcher was teamed up with British pollster Johnny Heald and research company ORB who carried out the polling and organised the focus groups on behalf of Belcher.

As well as the opinion poll, he has conducted focus groups in marginal seats.

Notes to Editors

The results are taken from a telephone poll conducted by ORB amongst a nationally representative sample of 1,056 UK adults aged 18+. Interviews were carried out throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Fieldwork took place from 11 to 14 September 2009. Data has been demographically and politically weighted to be representative of the population.

ORB is a member of the British Polling Council.

Any use of the information in this release must credit BBC's Two's Newsnight.

Poll findings

Q: Please tell me for each of the following people whether you have a very favourable, favourable, unfavourable, or very unfavourable opinion of them?

All respondents Base: 1,056
Nick Clegg
Very favourable 3%
Favourable 33%
Unfavourable 22%
Very unfavourable 6%
Never heard of 36%

Q. Which of these UK political leaders, if any, is most like Barack Obama? If you think a previous political leader is more like Barack Obama, just tell me which one?

All respondents Base: 1,056
David Cameron 18%
Gordon Brown 11%
Tony Blair 7%
Vince Cable 6%
Nick Clegg 3%
Margaret Thatcher 2%
Others 3%
None like Obama 46%
Don't know 2%

Q: Now I'm going to read you some phrases and characteristics other people we have interviewed have used to describe the political parties in the UK. For each phrase or characteristic, please tell me whether you think each is a better description of...? …. Represents change in politics

Gordon Brown and the Labour Party 14%
David Cameron and the Conservative Party 42%
Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats 26%
None of them 10%
Don't know 8%

Q: Regardless of your own political views, who do you think will make the better Prime Minister?

All respondents Base: 1,056
Nick Clegg 11%
Other names to be announced on Newsnight at a later date.


To top

Press releases by date:

Press release by:

RSS feeds:

Related BBC links

Related web links

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.