The UK race has gone from static to electric, says one pundit, as Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg surges after last week's debate. His sudden popularity has thrown open a race that was once seen as the Conservative Party's to lose.
A week ago, he was barely a contender. Then there was a debate. Nick Clegg came out swinging, and the whole election shifted.
Forget about Prime Minister Gordon Brown, leader of the Labour Party. Tear your attention away for a moment from dashing Conservative leader David Cameron and his popular wife, Samantha. The candidate to watch these days is Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain’s third party, and the potential kingmaker of the 2010 elections.
Clegg was the surprise winner in last Thursday’s debate – presenting himself as the real agent of change in Britain, and offering an alternative to all those fed up with Labour but unconvinced by the Conservatives.
A ComRes poll for ITV News showed 43 percent of those polled right after the debate thought Clegg won – nearly double Mr. Cameron's score of 26 percent and Mr. Brown's 20 percent.
Since then, the young politician, who is still serving his first term in parliament, has been compared to Barack Obama, Tony Blair, and even Winston Churchill. And new polls show Clegg and the LibDems have overtaken Labour as the second most-popular party in an election only 16 days away.