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Politicians trusted less than estate agents, bankers and journalists

Published:15 February 2013
Fieldwork:9-11 February 2013
Sub-Theme:Trust in Professions
Keywords:David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Trust, Veracity Index
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

New polling by Ipsos MORI shows that the British public trust politicians to tell the truth less than estate agents, bankers and journalists.

Just one in five (18%) Britons trust politicians to tell the truth compared to 21% trusting journalists and bankers and 24% who trust estate agents.

With implications for the “plebgate” row the police are trusted by two-thirds (65%) of the British public – more than 3 times as many as trust politicians. Once again doctors top the league of most trusted professions (89%), as they have been since Ipsos MORI began recording it in 1983. 

The poll brings further bad news for the reputation of MPs; following Chris Huhne pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice by telling lies a third (35%) of the public believe this behaviour is typical of most or all MPs. A further 56% believe it is typical of at least a few MPs. The youngest generations appear to be the most cynical with four in ten (39%) 18-34 year olds believing this behaviour to be typical of most or all MPs compared to three in ten (29%) Britons aged 55+.

Only one in three (36%) Britons agree that most MPs have a high personal moral code while six in ten (59%) disagree. There are differences along party lines with Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters being more positive about politicians (47% and 45% agree respectively) than Labour voters are (34% agree).

  • David Cameron is seen as trustworthy by 43%, and not trustworthy by 51% of Britons. His ratings have remained fairly consistent since 2010.
  • Four in ten (40%) Britons think Ed Miliband is trustworthy, 46% say he is not.
  • Nick Clegg is seen as the least trustworthy party leader (34%) although this is a significant improvement from the 25% he rated in December 2010 following the tuition fees vote in Parliament. 56% think Mr Clegg is not trustworthy.

 Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos MORI, said

These results show once again the disconnect that exists between voters and their perception of the political elite.  Rebuilding trust in our political system is a challenge that faces all parties.”

Technical note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,018 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 9 – 11 February 2013.  Data are weighted to match the profile of the population.


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Gideon Skinner

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