Almost six months on from the EU referendum, we present a mini-series on five people who helped to shape the result.
Many of the era’s successful politicians entered at the top – that’s to say, after a spell as a political adviser or aide. Nearly all were selected as candidates at small meetings of party members.
Nigel Farage is different in having worked his way up from the bottom via scores of hundreds of town hall meetings, and as a member of a minority party to boot. It was a very small one at that when he began.
This makes his achievement in building up UKIP all the more impressive, especially since part of it was undertaken when he was in poor health and much pain. He is the man who built the party that applied the pressure without which David Cameron would not have conceded a referendum.
The oddity is that it was not in Farage’s interest to win it. A near miss would have left Cameron in Downing Street, the Conservatives divided almost down the middle, and a narrative of grievance for Farage to exploit.
Victory, as we have seen, has left UKIP without a cause. I have no window to look into other men’s souls, but Farage could be forgiven for feeling disappointment amidst victory.