London – 16 January – A new poll by TNS UK reveals that almost half think that Nigel Farage is just saying what people think (43% agree vs 29% disagree). Just over half of those aged over 55 agree with this sentiment and agreement is highest in the North East, North West and Midlands. Indeed, 56% of those planning to vote Conservative also agree with this sentiment.

The poll of 1,201 adults also reveals a high level of negativity and distrust towards politicians with 78% saying that politicians rarely do what they say they will. Moreover, 70% of respondents say politicians don’t understand the problems normal people have. UKIP supporters are more likely to be negative than Labour or Conservative supporters (80% say that politicians don’t understand the problems normal people have, compared with 56% for Conservative supporters and 71% for Labour supporters).

The survey also shows that no party is particularly felt to represent the interest of normal people, but Labour (31%) and UKIP (26%) are seen as better than the Conservatives (18%) and Lib Dems (17%). The Labour party scores more highly amongst younger people than older people and better in Greater London and the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside. UKIP scores more highly amongst older people than younger people.

Another element the poll highlights is the importance of politicians to have a career before entering politics, with 69% of those surveyed saying they thought this was important.

Commenting, Dr Michelle Harrison, TNS Head of Political and Social said “This latest TNS survey highlights the loss of trust in politicians which is feeding into the rise of edge politics. UKIP are benefitting from an anti-politics feeling amongst voters who are fed up with traditional politics.

“This loss of trust in traditional institutions combined with major social change – including economic growth without wage inflation – is resulting in a Britain in flux.”

The voting intentions polling in the same survey suggests that Labour have a seven point advantage over the Conservative party. Currently 35% of people plan to vote for Labour whereas 28% plan to vote for the Conservative party.

However, while Labour lead in our poll, when people were asked what the likely outcome of the election will be, a greater proportion believe that the Conservative party will be the largest party after the General Election. The race looks very tight at the moment, with most of those who feel able to predict the outcome of the election saying that no party will have an overall majority.

UKIP remain in third position with 18% of the electorate currently planning to vote for them in May.

Notes to editors

TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,201 adults in Great Britain between 6th and 8th January 2015. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion. The data is weighted to match population totals for age, sex, social grade, working status, presence of children, 2010 voting patterns and region.

Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.

About TNS
TNS UK advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

About Kantar
Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 27,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group’s services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies. For further information, please visit us at www.kantar.com.