Is Nick Clegg the British Obama? So wonders the Guardian in the wake of the Liberal Democrat party leader’s highly praised 14 April performance in Britain’s first-ever televised election debate. With new polls suggesting the Lib Dems have surged to second place behind the Tories (30% and 33% respectively) the prospect of the British electorate returning a hung parliament on 6 May looks increasingly likely. But while “Cleggmania” may be on the rise, what possible parallels are there between public-school educated, son of a banker Clegg and the former senator of Illinois?

Admittedly few, the London daily writes, except that both Britain and the US love underdogs. “The US likes its heroes to be inspiring underdogs who battle vast forces to realise their dreams. We like ours to be not-particularly-inspiring underdogs who never do quite realise their dreams.” With the particularities of Britain’s first past the post electorial system favouring Labour and the Tories, “Nick Clegg almost certainly won't realise his dreams either… He is a British version of Barack Obama, but perhaps this is just another way of saying that he is the new Tim Henman”, Britain’s popular but underachieving tennis player.