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Polling shows none of the party leaders are trusted on Europe

24 March 2014

Do we trust our politicians to deal with Britain’s ties with Europe? The polar opposites on the matter, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, will be making their case for reconfiguring Britain’s relationship this Wednesday, but it appears we have little faith in either of them.

Ahead of the debate, YouGov and LBC have commissioned some polling on how each of the party leaders are trusted on Europe. The results aren’t particularly encouraging for any party leader — 31 per cent trust no-one on this matter, and all of the other party leaders rank below that:

LibDemReferendumPoster-479x680While Nigel Farage is trusted by only 11 per cent, Nick Clegg scores the worst — he is trusted by seven per cent of the general public and just under half of his own voters, no doubt due to his apparently flexible position on the issue.


In 2008, an infamous Lib Dem leaflet was printed (right) saying ‘It’s time for a REAL referendum on Europe’, suggesting Clegg was in favour of a referendum. But in 2013, he was quoted saying the Tories’ plan for a referendum was ‘deeply flawed and bound to unravel’. The technical details back him up: he wanted a referendum in the event of a further transfer of powers, but as with the Tory debacle over the Lisbon Treaty, the overall impression is of a flip-flop.

How do Brits feel about our EU membership generally? Lord Ashcroft commissioned a 20,000-sample megapoll, published in this weekend’s press, to find out and it appears Europe is the sixth most important issue for voters. As many people support leaving as those who back staying in the EU, despite 62 per cent thinking other countries get more out of the EU than Britain does.

On the matter of renegotiation, 72 per cent have ‘not a great deal, little or no confidence’ that David Cameron will be able to negotiate a better deal for Britain in the EU. This isn’t necessarily the Prime Minister’s fault — just over half think other EU countries will be unwilling to make any concessions to Britain ‘however well David Cameron makes the case’. Despite this confidence in Cameron, Labour is seen as the best party to manage Britain’s EU interests:

Many are also unsure of where MPs stand. According to Ashcroft’s polling, around half think most Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians want to stay in the EU, but 40 per cent think the same for the Conservatives.

With so much uncertainty about reforming our relationship with the EU, it will be interesting to see if/how the upcoming debates affect how people feel about the the party leaders. Both Clegg and Farage have poor trust ratings on the Europe issue so, as James said yesterday, this is their opportunity to score a killer blow.

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  • John Christopher sunol

    People do not trust politicians anyway, they say one thing and do another

  • Guest

    i am just simply fed up with all the ramblings of these politico salesmen.

  • evad666

    There is only one party leader I would trust and that is Farage.
    The Conservatives, Labour and LD’s mouth platitudes on Europe.

  • Richard N

    I don’t believe a word that the UK or Western media says nowadays about any political matter – but still less would I believe any YouGov poll, or any supposed interpretation of that pollster’s supposed findings, least of all where the poll was paid for by a major Tory supporter.

    You can make statistics say just about anything you want – especially with a pollster like YouGov, who together with a Tory financier, are writing the phraseology of the questions, and putting their ludicrous ‘weightings’ on them.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, this Ashworth fellow’s polls aren’t really worth bothering with. The fact that the muppet conducts a poll over a full 13 days invalidates the results completely, even before we get to the rest of his polling muppetry. Look at the pettifogging way this charlatan informs us that the overwhelming large plurality of 45% wants out now or later, while a minuscule 12% are for it, no questions asked (you have to do a calculation to come to that figure, as our alleged polling guru has done his best to camoflage the tiny fraction supporting his socialist dream):

      “My poll found that when it comes to Europe there are five types of people in Britain. A fifth of the country are in the “Committed Hostility” group who see nothing good about Europe and overwhelmingly want to leave though immigration worries them more. Just over a quarter are “Discontented Sceptics”, thinking the costs outweigh the









  • saffrin

    Ok, so what does the graph say about how many people believe in opinion polls or the BS they read in their newspapers every day?


    need to adjust trust in party for party vote share – UKIP 11% share 12>11/12 Cons 22 share 37>4/7 ie all UKIP voters trust NF, 4/7 Cons DC

    • serialluncher

      You don’t need a graph to show that Ukip supporters think Farage is the 2nd coming. What is revealing is that the rest population barely rate him above Clegg.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Both Clegg and Farage have poor trust ratings on the Europe issue so, as
    James said yesterday, this is their opportunity to score a killer blow.

    What absurd spin. Once again Payne demonstrates the weakness of the Tory spin and their underlying position. Clegg, Cameron, Miliband and Farage have a poor trust rating on the Europe issue. In the Yougov poil barely ONE IN FIVE trusts Cameron (our Prime Minister no less) who seems to have come top of that poll. Therefore FOUR IN FIVE do not trust the most trusted of the four. Having a net rating of -50 to -60 when you are leader of the country in any poll is appalling. That 80% of the electorate do not trust Cameron on the issue of Europe indicates the utter failure of his equivocal mealy mouthed posturing on the issue.

    Given the relative unfamiliarity of people with Farage and the almost constant bigotry, smears and bare faced liesparticularly from Tory sources against UKIP its hardly surprising that Farage does not fare as well as Cameron.

    In the much larger Ashcroft poll 1 in 4 almost trusts UKIP and therefore Farage and something around 1 in 3 trusts Labour (the highest) and therefore Miliband. Again this is not good news for any of the politicians but clearly it is far worse for the Libdems than anyone else.

    Whats worth pointing out of course which Payne conveniently doesn’t is that in the much larger and therefore much more accurate Ashcroft poll the only party that is trusted above and beyond its current Westminster polling is UKIP who seems to be taking around 5% each from both Labour and Tory to give them their 23% on this issue.

    As such the only real question is how much further support can UKIP filter off from Labour and Tories in the next month and whether that will be sufficient to put them top of the European poll?

  • Rossspeak

    Not just on Europe – poll after poll shows the public don’t trust Cameron, Miliband and, most of all, Clegg – to deliver on anything they “promise”.

  • Rockin Ron

    Anyway, today we remember St Catherine of Genoa who died in 1510:

    When Catherine was born, many Italian nobles were supporting Renaissance
    artists and writers. The needs of the poor and the sick were often
    overshadowed by a hunger for luxury and self-indulgence. Catherine’s parents were members of the nobility in Genoa. At 13 she attempted to become a nun but failed because of her age. At 16 she married Julian, a nobleman who turned out to be selfish and unfaithful. For a while she tried to numb her disappointment by a life of selfish pleasure. One day in confession she had a new sense of her own sins and how much God loved her. She reformed her life and gave good example to Julian, who soon turned from his self-centered life of distraction. Julian’s spending, however, had ruined them financially. He and Catherine decided to live in the Pammatone, a large hospital in Genoa, and to dedicate themselves to works of charity there. After Julian’s death in 1497, Catherine took over management of the hospital.Exhausted by her life of self-sacrifice, she died September 15, 1510, and was canonized in 1737.


    • berosos_bubos

      So what kind of selfish pleasures did she indulge in ?

      • Wessex Man

        don’t start!

        • Rockin Ron

          I don’t she was pro EU.

  • George_Arseborne

    I pray for the Tories to waste all their energy on Europe.

    • HookesLaw

      Please pray a lot louder

      • Wessex Man

        er, Ken clarkes relaunched group 20 er Tory MPs, you couldn’t make it up Hooky but you always do!

  • Colonel Mustard

    This is simply because Europe transcends party politics. With Europhiles and Europhobes in each party it makes a mockery of trying to articulate it in party political terms, whether trying to argue that division over Europe is uniquely Tory or that Labour are unanimously pro-Europe.

    It is one of those issues where a truly courageous leader needs to create a cross party consensus to establish a royal commission (or similar) to investigate the cost benefit case for being in Europe and weighing that against the loss of sovereignty and other negatives. This has not been done. We have gone straight to pro and anti campaigning over a referendum that is being procrastinated over or denied. As with climate change the issue is so beset by agenda and vested interest it is almost impossible for ordinary people to trust anyone. It needs removing from party politics as an issue of national importance, which should involve the monarch as an integral part of our constitution, and subjecting to truly independent, objective examination, the output from which should be used as the basis for a referendum.

    Too much of this issue has been about squabbles and wrangling in Parliament and not the whole constitutional framework of the United Kingdom (as is) or the people.

    • HookesLaw

      ‘royal commission (or similar) to investigate the cost benefit case for
      being in Europe and weighing that against the loss of sovereignty and
      other negatives.’ … you’re not asking fore much are you?
      I imagine itr woukd take 10 years. And when ot came out positive for Europe the sceptics would ignore it.

      • Colonel Mustard

        It has already taken far longer than 10 years to get where we are. Nowhere.

      • Wessex Man

        Hooky mate can you please write in English as it’s getting harder and harder to read your gibberish.

        • southerner

          It doesn’t matter what language he writes it in. It’s still the same old pro-European socialism from Hooky and the Camerluvvies.

      • Conway

        Wasn’t William Hague going to do a cost-benefit analysis? Where is it? Couldn’t possibly be because there is no benefit, could it?

    • Baron

      Colonel, the issue of Europe has never been, should never be that of bean counting, but that of what world order we want to live in. Those who have lunch in London, dinner in NY, the borderless dreamers against those of us who believe sovereignty, nationhood, one’s tribe’s history, tradition …. still matter.

  • anyfool

    Where was this poll conducted, how can you have Farage that low on Europe when there is a slight majority to get out, Labour trusted to manage Britain`s interests, this poll was carried out at the BBC I presume.

    • MirthaTidville

      I agree..all part of the plan to do down anything to do with UKIP before the May elections..The Establishment know that they are hated, but don`t care, largely because they are all of the same mindset. They just want to drag Farage down to their abysmal low levels..No wonder they are hated

      • Kitty MLB

        Yes, it would be wrong to drag the vestal virgin. the lovely Nigel,,he that is unblemished
        by the miasma of Westminster into the abysmal nether regions of the political class. Loathsome creatures.

        • Wessex Man

          so, just to be clear Kitty, where are you coming from?

          • Kitty MLB

            Affectionate teasing, dear chap. I assume everyone is aware
            that I think Nigel is a decent and principled chap, as well
            as being good for the country.

            • telemachus


              • Kitty MLB

                He is lovely, but that word for me would
                be the obscure and brilliant Michael Gove…
                Its a women would’nt understand it.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …from the socialist mother ship, apparently.

          • Kitty MLB

            Might I add, Wessex Man, dear chap, please ignore Viceroy
            I am now apparently a ‘ evil socialist’ because he took offence to a harmless joke aimed towards him.
            Where an I coming from…despite my many differences
            with Cameron, I have a duty to defend England from the evils
            of socialism, Cameron is a pain in the backside that can be managed- socialism cannot.
            I am also a admirer of UKIP. but I am aware they are a growing party and we cannot wait, even if They could put s
            government together next year they have very little experience.. so a coalition is the only answer, which
            means the two parties that are not socialists need to stop
            fighting each other.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Perhaps it would be easier to provide a list of people not in on the nefarious plot to straighten your bananas?

    • rtj1211

      If you read the article, you’d see that it was commissioned by Michael Ashcroft who has been known to donate rather a large amount of money to the Conservative party.

      Are all you conspiracy theorists of that mind-set because you don’t read what is staring you in the face??!!

      • anyfool

        If you read the article you will find the data came from, Source: YouGov/LBC.

        You and the ridiculous Samuel Kaine Wheeler
        should actually do what you chastise others for not doing, think.

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          YouGov did the polling, but Ashcroft paid for it and will have had considerable input into the questions.

          It must be comforting to know that all sources of authority are in fact competent enough to engage in a multi-decadal conspiracy.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …socialism isn’t much of an achievement, lad. It just takes police power and a few psychopaths willing to use it ruthlessly.

            • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

              You mean like Thatcher setting the police on the miners?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Perhaps, but you socialist nutters generally are a bit more murderous than that little bit of love and happiness.

    • Smithersjones2013

      No this is just most people following their Westminster preferences when answering specific issue poll questions. That UKIP are the only party in the Ashcroft poll who out perform their Westminster ratings is the most telling consideration from these polls.

      Interestingly neither Cameron or Miliband or their parties are trusted on this issue by more than one third of their own Westminster support. Their support over the EU is flaky. That also is significant. If the EU issue blows up as an issue that suggests there is only one beneficiary from the issue.

      We can only hope the likes of Barrosso, Van Rompuy, Ashton and Redding do their worst and continue to do so for a very long time…..

  • Kitty MLB

    Who is this Nick Farage fellow you mentioned in your poll?
    Any relation to Nigel by any chance…

    • HookesLaw

      More people trust Cameron than Farage.
      But is this poll a bit of a red herring. Ask the public do they trust polititians and they would mostly say no.
      But equally the poll seems to say that people care about many other things and there is no groundswell to leave the EU.

      • Smithersjones2013

        More than a third of the current Tory support in Westminster polling do not trust Cameron on this issue.

        In contrast just about all UKIP’s support seem to have faith in Farage.

        Its pretty clear when it comes to the Euros which party’s support is the more flakey.

      • Wessex Man

        no they don’t you little tinker you.

    • Andy

      Must have changed it !

      • Kitty MLB

        So I see, the only time anyone would now
        agree with Nick was for the few moments
        he was Nick Farage. Its a pity Clegg cannot
        be changed and disappear forever.

    • Airey Belvoir

      That would be Nigel Clegg.

    • Wessex Man

      could be………………….

      • Kitty MLB

        Poor Nigel, if he has a relative named Nick,
        maybe he has another ‘hug a hoodie ‘ relative
        named Dave …. How he copes with all these
        black sheep of the family I have no idea.

  • Martin Adamson

    “no doubt due to his apparently flexible position on the issue”

    Er, no, it’s because the British public realise that Nick Clegg and pretty much the whole of our political class are very obviously plotting to sell us out in order to guarantee themselves cushy EU sinecures once their time as MPs are over.

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      Because what a polyglot multimillionaire with experience at the highest levels of government really wants is to spend his Sixties working in Brussels, when any of the large banks or consultancy firms would pay them the same amount for a few days a month.

      At least make the prize for the conspiracy something worthwhile. Tickets to the Bohemian Grove after-party perhaps, or being eaten last by the space lizards.

      • sfin

        I think you’re making the mistake of thinking, that Martin Adamson is saying, that money is the motivator for these people.

        It ain’t – it’s power.

        As Blair discovered, domestic politics is so dull compared to exercising power at a continental, or even global, level. Blair also discovered that if you can project enough power at a global level, then untold riches will follow.

        When these europhile politicians talk about our ‘influence’ in Europe, they are not in the slightest bit interested in Britain’s interests – only their own.

        • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

          If you want power you don’t want a “cushy sinecure”, as such things might have pomp but they have little else, and can easily be taken away.

          I’m sure Nick Clegg’s dream job is being the EU Commissioner, but we only get one of those. Those are pretty slim odds to motivate a whole cadre of politicians. Blair is proof that you can go off and do it on your own and have tin pot dictators lining up to take your advice.

          • sfin

            The likes of Kinnock, Patten and Mandelson (all ‘failed’ UK politicians) exercised power in Brussels, albeit on a narrower front, which directly affected 700+ million people – and they did this, as EU commissioners, entirely without the tiresome business of answering to an electorate. That’s not just ‘pomp’, that is power.

            How has Mandleson – a career politician – been able to afford multi-million pound properties in London? Properties, for which, you now need to be a Russian oligarch to be able to afford to buy.

            Baroness Ashton exercises far more power, in foreign affairs, than William Hague and who voted for her? You? Me? Anyone in Europe? No.

            Agreed – Blair has gone off and done it on his own – but he did it on the back of unilaterally projecting British power – using war as an instrument of foreign policy – and not as it should be for any politician – as the instrument of last resort, an admission of political failure. Let’s not forget that this creature wanted to be ‘President’ of Europe.

            • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

              If you read what I said, I specifically noted the commissioner job as separate from the preceding statement. You’ve named four politicians across two decades. Let us assume they’re in it for the power. What motivates everyone else?

              • sfin

                The same.

                • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                  So your contention is that hundreds of politicians (not to mention the thousands of candidates) spend upwards of twenty years of their life working for a cause for no other reason than they might, if very lucky, one day, get to be a European Commissioner, and spend the next five years of their life arguing about shoe imports with members of the Chinese Politburo?

                • sfin

                  What motivates someone to become a town councillor, a county councillor, an MP, a PPS, a junior minister, a minister, a cabinet minister, PM – at all levels it is an inherent desire to impose one’s will over others – power. In our country, these people, along with others in Europe, have created another tier in the hierarchy of power, in which they can ascend ever upwards – unencumbered by an electorate – the EU.

                  I put my faith in the likes of Nigel Farage – who wants to bring the whole edifice crashing down (“put me out of a job” is his cry) and who puts his version of our national interest first.

                  The late Bob Crowe and Tony Benn were men of a similar vein, but I disagreed with them, politically.

                • telemachus

                  How many times have we seen demagogues promise us the moon and that when we will have the moon we will melt away?

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You do it here almost every day, several times in almost every thread when you bleat about the promise of Labour’s many horrid demagogues. So none of your hypocrisy you evil little man.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  Well said.

                • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                  If you abolish politics you don’t remove the ability of individuals to dominate others, you simply abolish he mechanisms for the weak to band together against the strong.

                • sfin

                  I’m not saying abolish politics – far from it, we need these people. What I am saying is that there exists a truism:

                  “If you give someone power, they only end up wanting more of it.”

                  Like I said, we need these people to run things – would you like to work 18 hours a day managing welfare subsidies on a middle manager’s salary? Me neither – thank God some people are driven to do it.

                  But…Their desire for power needs to be checked for their, as well as our, own good. This is normally performed through instruments such as direct democracy and an impartial civil service, amongst other things. The EU has neither.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  You are incredibly naive. Your simplifications positively quaint.

                • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

                  Saying that those who refuse to believe the conspiracy are naive is classic conspiracy theorist behaviour.

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