• Cameron fails “the used car” test of public trust
    • Only Berlusconi beats Cameron as the leader we’d LEAST like to buy one from, finds YouGov poll
    • Merkel tops list of European leaders we’d most like to buy from, but Obama ranks top globally

    Britons would rather “buy a used car” from Barack Obama or Angela Merkel than David Cameron, according to a poll designed to shed light on the trust felt for the world’s best-known political leaders.

    Only Italy’s outgoing Silvio Berlusconi outranks David Cameron as the leader from whom we’d LEAST like to buy one – according to the online poll of over 2,000 Britons conducted by YouGov on behalf of craigslist (www.craigslist.co.uk), the free classified ads site used by a growing number of Brits to buy and sell used cars.

    Germany’s Angela Merkel is not just the key figure in the current Euro crisis but, perhaps fortunately in the circumstances, also the European leader from whom we’d most like to buy a used car.

    Obama, however, ranks top of the list when it comes to global leaders, with at least twice as many respondents preferring to buy from him than anyone else.

    “If Obama fails to win reelection next year, he could always launch a used car business in the UK”, says Jim Buckmaster, CEO of craigslist. “But he should clearly avoid partnering with Silvio Berlusconi, or even David Cameron.”

    This sort of “used-car test” of public trust is a good one for any politician”, adds Buckmaster.

    “Americans used to ask of Richard Nixon when he was running for President, ‘Would you want to buy a used car from him?’ But it’s a question that we should ask of all politicians – especially now that you might actually find yourself buying a car from one, via craigslist.”

    Millions of people worldwide each year buy and sell cars on craigslist, which now boasts 700 local sites in over 70 countries, including the UK. This means that, among other things, craigslist might well now be the world’s largest market for used cars.

    Yougov asked 2,009 Britons two related questions. The first was: “Which one of the following world leaders would you LEAST like to buy a used car from?”. The second was the opposite: “Which one would you MOST like to buy one from?”

    Respondents picked from a list comprising probably the world’s six best-known leaders: Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Berlusconi, Sarkozy and Putin.

    David Cameron fared better on the question that asked which leader we would most like to buy from than he did on the opposite question. 13% of respondents picked Cameron on the former question, earning him third place, behind Merkel on 14% and Obama the landslide winner on 28%.

    When those polled were asked which leader they would least like to buy a used car from, Berlusconi was the landslide victor with 35%, while Cameron shared second place with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, both polling 16% of the votes.

    Pedants, however, might argue that Berlusconi is no longer a leader, since he has now finally quit as Italy’s Prime Minister, even though many are already predicting that, like Terminator, he’ll be back.

    This means that no serving leader in the craigslist poll now surpasses David Cameron as a figure from whom Britons would least like to buy a used car.

    Q. Which ONE of the following world leaders would you MOST LIKE to buy a used car from?

    1. Barack Obama 28
    2. Angela Merkel 14
    3. David Cameron 13
    4= Vladimir Putin 2
    4.= Silvio Berlusconi 2
    6. Nicholas Sarkozy 1
    None of these 28
    Don’t know 12

    Q. Which ONE of the following world leaders would you LEAST LIKE to buy a used car from?

    1. Silvio Berlusconi 35
    2.= David Cameron 16
    2.= Vladimir Putin 16
    4. Nicholas Sarkozy 8
    5. Barack Obama 2
    6. Angela Merkel 1
    None of these 9
    Don’t know 14%

    Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2009 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11-14th November 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).