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    Nigel Farage Has Successfully Convinced The Public That He's A Man Of The People

    UKIP feels confident enough to attack the elite education of its critics because its supporters don't care about Farage's background.

    Luke Macgregor / Reuters

    Nigel Farage's UKIP has gone on the attack against The Times after the newspaper claimed his expenses are being probed.

    A post on the party's website highlights six journalists at The Times who have various degrees of influence over the newspaper's political coverage. The UKIP attack focuses on the journalists' backgrounds, saying "most have family or personal connections to the Conservative Party" and the majority are "from immensely privileged backgrounds".

    What's particularly impressive is that these attacks are coming from a party led by a public school-educated former City trader. But as exclusive BuzzFeed polling shows, this doesn't matter because, despite his background, UKIP supporters and the general public alike see Farage as a genuine man of the people fighting against the establishment.

    YouGov asked the public to guess whether each of the major political party leaders went to private school.

    Just 36% of the 2,076 people questioned in the BuzzFeed/YouGov poll correctly guessed that Nigel Farage went to private school, despite him happily talking about his time at London's prestigious Dulwich College on many previous occasions.

    This falls even lower among people who say they will vote UKIP at the next general election: just 31% of potential UKIP voters believe Farage was privately educated, with 38% saying he went to a grammar school and 25% believing he went to a comprehensive.

    In fact, out of the four politicians only Ed Miliband was educated at a comprehensive school. But just 13% of the public know this – the majority think he went private.

    When YouGov asked voters whether their preferred party leader was in "in touch with normal people" the results again showed resounding backing for Farage.

    An impressive 77% of UKIP supporters say Farage is in touch with normal people.

    This compares to just 37% of likely Conservative voters who feel David Cameron understands the concerns of a typical member of the public.

    Whatever the reality, the perception among UKIP supporters and many potential backers is that Nigel Farage is a man of the people.

    Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

    And this gives him the cover to attack others with similarly privileged background for their supposed membership of the establishment.