Trump predicts UK election ‘a harbinger of what’s to come’ in US
President Trump on Friday predicted that the resounding victory for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom’s elections this week could be a precursor for Republican success in the U.S.’s 2020 elections.
“I want to congratulate Boris Johnson on a terrific victory. I think that might be a harbinger of what’s to come in our country. It was last time,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the president of Paraguay.
Johnson and his Conservative Party won a sizable majority in the British Parliament, clearing a path for the British prime minister to secure a deal to leave the European Union, a movement known as Brexit. The Conservative Party won 365 seats in the House of Commons compared to 203 for the Labour Party, with several smaller parties earning seats as well.
Trump said Friday that he expected Johnson’s victory would benefit the U.S. if the two sides are able to negotiate a bilateral trade deal once Brexit is completed.
Political pundits in the U.S. were quick to try to draw parallels between the results across the pond and what it could mean for the 2020 presidential race, despite notable differences.
Some took Johnson’s win as a sign of good things to come for Trump. The president is a close ally of Johnson’s, and he won his 2016 election just months after voters in the U.K. approved the Brexit referendum, with both riding a wave of populist sentiment.
Some Democrats, including presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, viewed the Labour Party’s defeat as a warning that the Democratic Party should not drift too far left when picking a nominee in 2020.
“You’re also going to see people saying, ‘my god, Boris Johnson, who is kind of a physical and emotional clone of the president, is able to win,’” Biden said at an event in San Francisco.
But experts noted some key differences in the outcome of the vote in the United Kingdom and the one coming next November in the U.S.
Brexit was a major focus in the special election on Thursday, an issue that won’t factor into the U.S. race. And Johnson has pledged to increase government spending to improve the government-run National Health Service, an issue that does not align with the U.S. Republican Party.