Google Inc boss Eric Schmidt says that politicians have yet to understand the true impact of the internet on voters’ behaviour.

He believes that the internet will have the power to affect the outcome of elections, as voters increasingly use the resources offered by the online world to challenge statements made by their political leaders.

Schmidt believes that ‘truth predictor’ software, which he hopes will be generally available in the next five years, will give voters the ability to check statements made by politicians against historical data to see how economical they are being with the truth.

He said: “One of my messages to them is to think about having every one of your voters online all the time, then inputting ‘is this true or false’. We are not in charge of truth but we might be able to give a probability. The internet has largely filled a role of funding for politicians … but it has not yet affected elections. It clearly will.”

Schmidt made these predictions in an interview with the Financial Times yesterday, during a visit to Britain which also included a meeting with the Prime Minister Tony Blair and a speech at the Tory Party Conference on Monday.