BEARDED political candidates might find it more of a challenge when it comes to persuading voters that they are trustworthy, according to research.

A survey of 2500 people for The Bluebeards Revenge male grooming brand revealed that 69 per cent did not like male politicians with facial hair. Nearly three quarters of female respondents (74 per cent) cited beards as a vote loser. The poll showed that 67 per cent felt a clean-shaven politician looked more trustworthy and 65 per cent said more professional.

Nick Gibbens, spokesperson for The Bluebeards Revenge, said: “A lot of people associate beards with what happens after you lose a campaign and you let yourself go.

“Despite the recent boom in men sporting facial hair, our research suggests that beards in politics are still seen as unprofessional, and are considered lazy, but perhaps even more worryingly, make a politician appear less trustworthy as it appears as they are trying to hide something.”

Gibbens said there was still hope for Jeremy Corbyn, but suggested history was not on his side: “Previous Labour administrations saw a number of bearded Cabinet ministers, with the likes of David Blunkett and Robin Cook finding facial fuzz no barrier to a high profile job in government.

“But Alistair Darling did shave his beard off, amid widely reported rumours that the razor was wielded on the advice of New Labour image-makers. Margaret Thatcher’s time in charge of the country was a very low point for the political beard, with the then-prime minister reported to have said she ‘wouldn’t tolerate any minister of mine wearing a beard’.”

Facial hair is pretty sparse in Holyrood’s corridors of power, despite the current tendency for men to sport some form of stubble. We could only find six bearded MSPs — four SNP members (Colin Beattie, Ben Macpherson, Mike Russell and Humza Yousaf), and one each from the Tory (Finlay Carson) and Green parties (Patrick Harvie).

Keith Conniford, chief executive of the Hair and Barber Council, said: “In the last 12-24 months beards have become a fashion statement for men. Prior to this, the beard was perceived as an ‘unkempt’ look, which is why I believe we haven’t had a bearded PM for over a century.”

For the record, that was Tory Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, who resigned in 1902.