Nigel Farage, leader of Ukip
By George Parker
This is an abridged version of an article published in the FT magazine on March 8 2013
On election day May 6 2010, a man in a pin-striped suit boarded a light aircraft at Hinton-in-the-Hedges, Northamptonshire. Trailing on the dewy grass was a banner bearing a forlorn last-minute appeal: “Vote for Your Country – Vote UKIP.” Hardly anyone bothered to turn up.
While the world focused on a grey-faced Gordon Brown’s desperate fight to cling to power and on David Cameron confidently preparing for Downing St, the plane began its ascent over the English countryside. Within minutes, it was ...