In public controversy after the Brexit referendum, social media played a prominent role. In particular, veteran populist anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage used Twitter as a powerful weapon to further his cause. This paper compares a corpus of Farage's tweets in 2017-2018 with those by four other prominent British politicians (May, Johnson, Corbyn and Starmer). Quantitative corpus linguistics techniques are combined with qualitative analysis to examine how Farage creates a distinctive discursive style that is both down-to-earth and emotive. Various markers of register and affect are identified, and three core aspects of Farage's populist appeal to 'the people' are outlined, including the projection of negative emotions, especially anger/violence; the use of questions to provoke reactions; and the deployment of colloquial expressions and catchphrases to resonate with popular audiences and claim the status of 'common sense'.