Good news for Trump
By Scott Sumner
In 1979, Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of the UK. This proved to be a leading indicator of politics in the US, as Reagan was elected a year later.
In June 2016, British voters opted to leave the European Union. Here’s what I said the very next day:
Of course this is good news for Trump, as it suggests a groundswell of nationalism. It’s also good news (for Trump) in the sense that the Brexit vote was greater than predicted by either polls or betting markets. I think at some level Brexit voters understood that their decision was destructive (even if justified in the long run) and hence they were more reluctant to reveal this “politically incorrect’ view to pollsters. Maybe the same will be true for Trump voters.
Unfortunately, in October 2016 I was seduced by the polls and predicted that Clinton would win. The Brexit vote turned out to be a precursor of the Trump win.
And now Boris Johnson’s Tories have won a huge victory over the Labour Party. There are two differences that make this a bit less worrisome for the Democrats. There is no “Brexit” issue in the US, and the Democrats are not nearly as bad as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Nonetheless, the surprising scale of the Conservative victory is certainly bad news for the Democratic Party. I notice that the betting markets are gradually raising the probability of a Trump win. That’s where I’d put my money.