Deputy prime minister John Prescott is widely considered to be the minister with responsibility for architecture and construction although he holds neither portfolio, a BD poll has revealed.

The poll highlighted a shocking lack of knowledge about which politicians and public figures have responsibility for architecture, raising questions about the public profile of architecture minister David Lammy and bodies such as Cabe.

However it is good news for Prescott, described by one respondent as the "self-appointed minister for architecture", whose interest in and passion for the built environment has been widely recognised by architects.

Half the respondents believed Prescott is responsible for architecture, and only one in five knew that David Lammy was the minister who really has the job.

Worryingly for the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, only 8% of respondents believed it had an impact on their working lives. In sharp contrast, 72% recognised the role the ODPM had to play. Only 10% thought the Department for Trade & Industry, which is responsible for construction, had an impact.

There was a similar ignorance about the construction minister: 15% of respondents knew it was Alun Michael, but more than half believed it was Prescott and 25% thought it was still Nigel Griffiths.

Cabe also has cause for concern: 30% of respondents believed that former chair Stuart Lipton, who stood down in 2004, is the current chief executive. Slightly more - 35% - knew that it was in fact Richard Simmons, but 16% believed that Jon Rouse, now chief executive of the Housing Corporation, was at the helm.

But there was good news for the RIBA - half the respondents said the institute was the best representative of the profession's interests at a political level, compared to 28% for Cabe and just 7% for the Arb.

The biggest surprise was the nomination of Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud as the public figure with the biggest influence on architecture.