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:
While 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.