Four in 10 voters think Nigel Farage is a 'danger to Britain', poll finds

The ComRes poll asked voters to respond to statements about the Ukip leader and Lib Dem rival Nick Clegg ahead of their second live TV debate

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The Independent Online

Four in ten voters think Ukip leader Nigel Farage is a “danger to Britain”, a poll has revealed.

On a more surprising note, the survey also showed that more men want to date Farage than women - 12 per cent of men said he would make a good date, compared to just eight per cent of women.

But 13 per cent of women would like to date Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

The ComRes poll was commissioned by the Mail Online ahead of the two men going head-to-head in the second live TV debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union, which will be broadcast by the BBC on Wednesday. 

After the two leaders clashed in the first TV debate last week, a post-match YouGov survey of 1,003 people found that 57 per cent believed that Mr Farage had performed best, while 36 per cent thought Mr Clegg had won.

In the ComRes poll, voters were asked to consider several statements and say whether they applied more to Mr Farage or Mr Clegg, with neither man escaping unscathed.

38 per cent of people said Mr Farage “is a danger to Britain”, compared to just 18 per cent who said the same about Mr Clegg. Older voters were particularly wary of the Ukip leader, with over half (54 per cent) of 55-64 year-olds expressing distrust of his plans for the UK. 

Half of people working in the public sector, as well as 44 per cent of people in Scotland and the South West, thought that Mr Farage posed a threat to Britain.

But a quarter (25 per cent) of people thought Mr Farage “tells the truth”, while only 18 percent thought the same of Mr Clegg.

Mr Farage has been criticised for his recent claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the world leader he most admires – at a time when Putin is overriding international law to annex the Crimea.

Defending the comments, which were made in an interview with GQ, Mr Farage said on Monday: “I said I don't like him, I wouldn't trust him, wouldn't want to live in his country.

“But compared with the kids who run foreign policy in this country I have got more respect for him than our lot.”

He was accused by Mr Clegg of holding “extreme” views following the comments. The Lib Dem leader suggested they were motivated by Mr Farage’s hatred of the EU.

The two men had hoped their first debate, which was staged by the LBC radio station and screened by Sky News, would help them appeal to voters.

But the ComRes poll showed that only 18 per cent of people thought either of them would make a good prime minister. A quarter of people said they thought Mr Farage “knows what he’s talking about”, although this was split between 32 per cent of men and only 19 per cent of women.

Just 23 per cent said Mr Clegg knew what he was talking about.

42 per cent of people said that the deputy prime minister appeared “out of his depth”, while 26 per cent said the same of Mr Farage.

Tom Mludzinski, head of political polling at ComRes, told the Mail Online: “While there is little good news for either leader here, Nick Clegg should be the more worried.

“After nearly four years as Deputy Prime Minister he has failed to convince the British public he is more Prime Ministerial than a leader of a Party with no MPs. However there is also a warning for Nigel Farage that many see him as a danger to Britain.”

But Mr Clegg fared better when it came to the sleaze factor – 21 per cent of people said he was “a bit sleazy”, but this figure was almost doubled for Mr Farage at 40 per cent.

However, when it came to choosing who they would rather share a pint with, more people chose Mr Farage, who has cultivated an image as a down-to-earth drinker. A third of people said they would go for a pint with Mr Farage, compared to 14 per cent who said they would share a tipple with Mr Clegg.

In several areas there was little to divide the two men. Just over a third said both leaders were “annoying" - 35 per cent for Mr Clegg and 34 per cent for Mr Farage.

ComRes interviewed 2,008 British adults between 28 and 30 March. The data was weighted to be representative of all British adults aged 18 and over.