Nick Clegg is worried that young people think of him as an alien and said he once saw politicians in the same way.
The Deputy Prime Minister revealed his concerns after a poll showed that 82 per cent of under 16s thought politicians did not care about their opinions.
“I totally understand that,” he told First News. “I remember as a teenager looking at politicians on the television, like teenagers now look at me on the television, and thinking that politicians were a different species from a different planet.”
But the Liberal Democrat did say that young people were not cynical, unlike some older voters.
Mr Clegg said: “They believe everything’s possible, and they want things to change.
“And they want things to change for the better, and they don’t understand why things can’t change for the better.”
He was answering questions sent in by First News readers across the country.
When asked what he “really thought” of his coalition partner David Cameron, he hinted that he would not reveal his feelings for years to come.
“I’ll probably leave that one to my memoirs, when I get round to writing them,” he said.
“I actually think what he thinks of me, or I think of him personally, isn’t really the issue.”
Despite a disastrous performance in the local and European elections and a rumoured attempted leadership coup, Mr Clegg has managed to cling on to his leadership.
He could find himself as kingmaker once again if Labour or the Conservatives fail to reach a majority in next year’s general election.