Nurses the most trusted professionals, survey finds

Substantial increase in trust for Government Ministers, Ipsos MRBI poll shows

Healthcare professionals are the most trusted workers in the State, with nurses having the highest levels of trust among the public, according to research from Ipsos MRBI.

The Veracity Index 2020 from the polling company found 97 per cent of people trusted nurses, 96 per cent trusted pharmacists and 95 per cent trusted doctors.

Respondents were for the first time asked their level of trust in the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), which advises the Government on its Coronavirus strategy, and 91 per cent said they trusted the organisation to tell the truth.

Politicians have seen a substantial increase in the level of trust they enjoy since the survey was previously done in December 2018 – up 10 percentage points to 32 per cent, slightly ahead of estate agents on 30 per cent .


However, senior politicians have seen an even greater jump in public confidence levels, with 47 per cent expressing trust in Ministers, up 20 points since 2018 and the highest increase in the survey.

EU leaders are higher still at 58 per cent, up 15 points. Local councillors previously enjoyed higher levels of trust than Ministers but have now slipped slightly behind to 46 per cent, although this still represents an increase of five points since 2018.

Respondents had more trust in the “ordinary person in the street” than Ministers or councillors, at 54 per cent, but this level of trust has slipped by seven points.

Gardaí have also seen a significant boost in the survey of 1,000 Irish adults that was conducted from May 14th-24th, with 82 per cent finding them trustworthy, an increase of nine points. This puts them just behind weather forecasters who were trusted by 83 per cent of those surveyed.

Respondents expressed strong belief that television newsreaders were truthful with 77 per cent saying they trusted them, but far fewer trusted journalists in general with just 42 per cent saying they were trustworthy.

Of the 27 professions selected, teachers, scientists and judges all made it into the top ten most trusted.

Advertising executives were the second least trusted on 17 per cent, but respondents’ expectations of social media influencers were the lowest of all with just 8 per cent trusting them to tell the truth.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times