Third-Party Contender: Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg

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To appreciate how surprising it is that Nick Clegg, the personable leader of Britain's Liberal Democrats, could be poised to become one of Britain's most powerful politicians after national elections tipped for May 6, it's necessary to understand something of Middle England. Defined by attitude, not geographical location, the country's heartland is inhabited by small-c conservatives and big-E Euroskeptics, people unsettled by rapid social change and radical ideas. Such voters, historically decisive in U.K. polls, tend to view liberals and urban sophisticates with deep suspicion, and might be expected to react to the profoundly liberal, unambiguously sophisticated Clegg with all the...

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