Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians

Country feels negative and apathetic about most political leaders, as election approaches

Voters find David Cameron frustrating, Ed Miliband confusing, and are disgusted and apathetic about Nick Clegg, according to a recent survey.

It revealed that the UK feels overwhelmingly negative or neutral towards all the major party leaders ahead of May's election.

The most reported positive feeling reported by voters was that leaders were intriguing — with politicians inspiring few other positive emotions like excited and happy.

Image consultancy The Buzzz showed 1,000 UK voters pictures of the four leaders and asked them to describe how they felt using a range of positive and negative words.

Most voters felt frustrated with their leaders — it was 29% of voters' strongest feeling about David Cameron, with 21% feeling that way about Nick Clegg and 21% frustrated with Ed Miliband.


Clegg inspired the least feelings of any of the leaders — 33% of those shown his picture felt nothing at all, nearly twice those that said the same of Nigel Farage. Clegg didn’t scare anyone, and only 1% were shocked by him.

But 21% of those shown were disgusted by him, higher than anyone but Farage, and 24% felt frustrated. Clegg is the least liked of all four leaders, with only 7% of voters feeling anything positive about him at all, most of whom felt intrigued or surprised.

Video: PM shows his lighter side on the Tonight Show

Farage disgusted 29% of voters, his most common reaction, with 5% feeling scared and 7% feeling frustrated.  But another 19% of voters felt intrigued, far more than any other leader.

Clegg made 33% of voters feel nothing at all, compared with David Cameron's 28%. Source: Getty Images The Ukip leader received many more positive comments than any of his competitors, with other voters describing themselves as being excited, happy and surprised by him.

Farage scored only -20 ‘net emotional resonance’ — a measure of how many feel negatively about him against those that feel positive — against -32 for Miliband, -42 for Cameron and -51 for Clegg. He also scored highest on ‘absolute emotional resonance’ — how many people feel anything about him at all. He scored 82, against the least emotionally engaging leader Nick Clegg, who scored 72.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage inspired the strongest feelings in voters, though many of them were negative. Source: Getty Images The consultants said the “Results confirm the apathy and anonymity political leaders engender in the public – the largest proportions said they felt ‘nothing’ or ‘frustrated’, even disgusted”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living