Earlier this week, a debate was held in Great Britain between Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage, head of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), over the future of the European Union. Clegg took the pro-EU position while Farage argued against the super-state. UKIP, best described as a libertarian populist party, has experienced a meteoric rise in British politics recently, thanks to the rakish Farage and spreading anti-EU sentiment. It’s finished ahead of the ruling Conservative Party in several off-year elections, each of which seems to hurl British establishmentarians into fresh paroxysms of shock.
Yesterday they were shocked anew. After most analysts proclaimed either a Clegg victory or a tie, snap polling found the British public thought Farage won the debate 57 percent to 36 percent. The Guardian reported that the results “sent a wave of surprise around the ‘spin room’ of politicians, aides and journalists.”