One in three Lib Dem voters don't recognise Ed Davey

Adam McDonnellResearch Director of Political and Social Research
June 22, 2024, 11:09 AM GMT+0

The Lib Dem leader is going to need a bigger slide

With just over two weeks left before the public go to the polls, politicians are fighting for every vote on the campaign trail. But how well can Britons identify the leaders of five main national parties fielding candidates throughout Great Britain?

New YouGov research showed respondents their photos and asked them to name them in an open text box.

When coding these responses, we categorised a correct answer as someone who was able to provide at least their first name or surname. Misspelling was allowed as long as it was clear what name they were trying to write.

Over nine in ten of the public (93%) can identify Rishi Sunak when shown a picture of the Conservative leader, with a further 2% noting that he was the prime minister. This makes him the most recognisable politician tested, closely followed by Reform UK leader Nigel Farage (88%) and Labour leader Keir Starmer (87%). Recognition of these three leaders was consistent across voters.

Ed Davey has generated headlines for the various “fun” political stunts he’s been involved in during the election campaign, whether that is paddle boarding or rushing down a water slide. Despite this though, just a third (34%) of the public can identify the Lib Dem leader. One in twenty (5%) stated that he was the leader of the Lib Dems, while 58% were not able to provide an answer at all.

Looking at the responses of those who intend to vote Liberal Democrat at the next election, the majority (59%) are able to identify Davey, and a further 5% are able to identify him as ‘the Lib Dem leader’. Nevertheless, this leaves 35% who are planning on backing the party without knowing who he is at all.

The Green Party’s co-leaders are the least recognised of the leaders we tested, though there is a difference in the recognition of each. Carla Denyer was correctly identified by 8% of the public, with a further 15% being able to spot that she was a Green Party leader. Just 2% could identify her colleague Adrian Ramsey, with a further 2% saying he was the leader of the Greens. A quarter of Green voters (25%) got Denyer’s name correct, while just one in eleven of these voters (11%) were able to identify Ramsey.

See the full results here

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Photo: Getty