Ed Miliband has warned of a "crisis of politics" and has admitted all politicians need to do more to win back people's trust.
He and coalition leaders Nick Clegg and David Cameron travelled to Essex on Tuesday in a fresh bid to rebuild confidence after last week's local elections.
Speaking in Harlow, Essex, where his party seized control in last week's encouraging council elections, Labour leader Miliband said he wanted to "reach out" to the more than two-thirds of voters who did not turn out to cast their ballot.
Miliband said he was happy with Labour's result but admitted: "I know we have a lot more to do to rebuild that trust."
Pointing to figures showing that 71% of people in Harlow did not vote on Thursday, he said: "I want to reach out and understand why you don't trust any politicians, why you don't believe any of us can answer the questions that you are facing in your life.
"I think there is a crisis of politics in this country, there is a crisis of people thinking 'I'm not going to engage with politics, you're all the same, you all break your promises'."
The Labour leader said aspiration was being "blunted" by the coalition Government and insisted his party could "make a difference", adding: "We can offer people change."
His comments, at a question-and-answer session with members of the public, came ahead of an expected appearance in Essex by Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today.
"What people want from them is answers not excuses, not excuses blaming something else, not excuses blaming the eurozone, but answers about why they promised change and things have got worse not better," he said.
Miliband said Cameron and Clegg needed to learn from the election results, in which the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each lost hundreds of council seats, that "economic failure with unfairness piled on top is not the answer".
"They promised change, they promised an economy that would grow and things have got worse not better.
"And they promised fairness, they promised that we were all in it together, and things have got worse not better because they are standing up for the wrong people not the right people."
Reacting to last week's election drubbing, Cameron said on Monday that he got the message from voters "loud and clear".
"The message people are sending is this: focus on what matters, deliver what you promise - and prove yourself in the process. I get it," he said.