Dec 13, 2019

The U.K. election's warning for U.S. Democrats in 2020

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson Photo: Frank Augstein/AP

If the U.K.'s Brexit vote foreshadowed Donald Trump’s victory in 2016, yesterday's landslide for Boris Johnson could be a warning sign for America's liberal Democrats in 2020.

Why it matters: It's a reminder that mainstream voters hesitate to embrace radical change. And voters who are uneasy about an incumbent won’t necessarily choose the opposition party if they don’t like its leaders.

Being there: Big-screen TVs carried live election results from the BBC last night at a watch party at the British Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, as waiters passed around fish and chips and champagne. 

  • Charge d'affaires Michael Tatham — a new ambassador hasn't been named — welcomed guests who included RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel and some Trump White House officials.
  • Tatham joked that he's asked so regularly whether things are more tumultuous in Britain or America, he has a pat answer: The U.K. gets a five-hour head start every day, but "by lunchtime the U.S. has generally caught up."

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U.K. election: Boris Johnson's big win means Brexit is coming

Johnson on the campaign trail. Photo: Ben Stansall - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson exceeded all expectations in Thursday's U.K. general election, and his landslide victory makes the U.K. all but certain to exit the European Union early next year.

Driving the news: With 649 out of 650 constituencies reporting, the Conservatives won 364 seats, securing the biggest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 victory. It's an utter disaster for the opposition Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who has announced he will step down after a "period of reflection."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 13, 2019

Bloomberg: UK elections are the "canary in the coal mine" to 2020 Democrats

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the climate meeting in Madrid, Dec. 10, 2019. Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is calling Boris Johnson's decisive victory in Britain's election the "canary in the coal mine" for the Democratic Party about its chances of unseating President Trump in 2020.

Why it matters: The latest entry to the Democratic presidential primary field said Friday the U.K. results reinforce the idea that it's simply not enough for Democrats to assume they will beat Trump next year.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

Britain remade by Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulls a pint in County Durham, northeast England. Photo: Lindsey Parnaby/Pool via AP

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's landslide erased Britain's political map and upended its economy, The Atlantic's London-based Tom McTague writes on a stunning election with global echoes.

Why it matters: "[L]ess than four years ago, Johnson was still London’s mayor and undecided about whether to back Leave or Remain ... and Britain’s economy was among the most dynamic in Europe," McTague writes.

Go deeperArrowDec 14, 2019