Blair, Farage Are Least-Trusted U.K. Politicians in EU Debate

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage are the politicians least trusted by voters on whether Britain should leave or stay in the European Union, according to a Survation poll.

“The findings highlight how vocal advocates in both the ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ camps in the EU debate may be turning off the very voters they need to persuade,” Survation said in an e-mailed statement Friday.

Survation also found 40.3 percent of respondents were definite “out” voters or leaning toward exit, with 46.8 percent definitely in favor of staying in the bloc or leaning toward that view.

Prime Minister David Cameron, fresh from winning last month’s general election, was the most trusted politician on this topic at 49 percent, while 41 percent don’t have faith in him, according to data on the website of research group British Future, which commissioned the poll.

Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on Britain’s EU membership by the end of 2017 and is trying to secure changes to Britain’s relationship with the 28-nation bloc so that he can then argue for the nation to remain a member.

The survey of 3,977 British adults carried out last month found 59 percent distrust Blair, who advocates Britain remaining an EU member. Farage, who is campaigning for Britain to exit the union, was distrusted by 54 percent.

“The UKIP leader appeals to existing supporters but does not appeal to the majority of British citizens who remain undecided about Britain’s place in Europe,” Survation said. “The survey finds that Tony Blair is distrusted by the public whether they are ‘in’ or ‘out’, ‘decided’ or ‘undecided’ alike.”

Labour Party interim leader Harriet Harman, outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Scottish National Party chief Nicola Sturgeon and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne were all distrusted by more people than trusted them. London Mayor Boris Johnson was the only U.K. politician other than Cameron trusted by more people than distrusted him.

The margin of error for the main poll was 1.55 percent, Survation said.

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