Page last updated at 19:12 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 20:12 UK

Many voters 'do not know Clegg'

Nick Clegg
Eleven percent named Nick Clegg as their choice for prime minister

More than one third of British people have not heard of the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, a poll conducted for BBC Newsnight suggests.

The 1,056 UK adults canvassed were asked for their opinion of him.

Thirty six percent had a favourable view of Mr Clegg, but an equal number said they had never heard of him.

When asked which politicians were most like US President Barack Obama, Vince Cable scored higher than Mr Clegg, with 6% and 3% respectively.

In answering the question about their opinion of Mr Clegg, 28% of those polled said their view of him was unfavourable.

Face of change

More than a quarter, 26%, of people questioned said that they thought Mr Clegg and the Liberal Democrats "represent change in politics".

But this was lower than the 42% who said David Cameron "represents change in politics".

Fourteen percent of the respondents named Gordon Brown and Labour when asked who represented change.

David Cameron
David Cameron was named as the British politician most like Obama

When asked who they thought would make the best prime minister, 11% named Mr Clegg.

But among those who voted Liberal Democrat at the last election in 2005, around one in three named Nick Clegg as the man who would make the best prime minister.

But even more former Liberal Democrat voters, around two in five, said Mr Cameron would make the better prime minister.

In naming which UK political leader past or present is most like Mr Obama, Mr Cameron scored highest with 18% naming him. Mr Brown was named by 11%, Tony Blair by 7%, followed by Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Mr Cable and then Mr Clegg.

However, 46% said that no British politicians were like Mr Obama.

Obama's pollster

The opinion poll is part of an exercise conducted for BBC Two's Newsnight for the political conference season.

Newsnight has invited US pollster Cornell Belcher to find out what the public in the UK make of their politicians.

Mr Belcher employs many of the polling techniques he developed when working for the Democratic Party and Mr Obama ahead of last year's presidential election.

The poll was conducted between 11 and 14 September by ORB, amongst a nationally representative sample of 1056 UK adults aged 18 years and over.

Watch Cornell Belcher's second film, this time focussing on the Liberal Democrats, on Newsnight on Monday 21 September 2009 at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

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18 Sep 09 |  Newsnight
Profile: Cornell Belcher
04 Jun 09 |  Newsnight

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