Trump’s shock victory hailed as ‘Brexit 2.0’

Eilidh Wagstaff; special to CNBC.com
OLI SCARFF | AFP | Getty Images

Donald Trump's shock victory in the U.S. presidential election is already being hailed as "Brexit 2.0"'.

Both votes are seen as a rejection of the political establishment, both galvanized the electorate to turn out in record numbers and both took markets and pollsters broadly by surprise.

Donald Trump was among the first high-profile politicians to welcome the result of the Brexit vote on June 24. He went on to tell reporters that he saw "a big parallel" between his campaign and the Brexit movement, saying: "People want to take their country back, and they want to have independence."

'Bigger than Brexit'

Nigel Farage, interim leader of the U.K. Independence Party and prominent Euroskeptic, has in turn welcomed Trump's election victory. In an interview with NBC Wednesday he described the result as "bigger than Brexit".

"He (Donald Trump) is getting exactly the same kind of voters that we got in Sunderland and those other cities that produce massive shock results. It's people who haven't voted for 20 years, haven't voted in their lives, re-engaging with the process," Farage added.

Electoral data suggests similar demographics voted for Brexit in the U.K. and for Trump in the U.S.

Scale the key difference

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NBC's exit poll shows Trump found greater support among older voters than he did younger ones. It was a similar story on the other side of the Atlantic, with surveys from renowned pollster Michael Ashcroft showing around 60 percent of those aged 65 or over cast their ballot for Brexit. In stark contrast, 73 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds voted for Britain to remain in the EU.

Education levels also appear to have been a major determinant of voter preference in both contests. NBC exit poll data highlight that Trump enjoyed substantial support from voters without a college education. Take Wisconsin as an example, in the state 63 percent of white voters without a university degree are forecast to have voted Republican – up from 53 percent in 2012.

In the Brexit referendum 57 percent of Brits with a university degree voted to remain in the EU, according to Ashcroft's polls. Conversely the majority of those without a college education voted to leave.

While there are many similarities between the Trump and Brexit movements, their scale differentiates them. Just over 17 million people voted for Brexit, by comparison Trump received the backing of more than 59 million Americans - with some votes still to be counted.

Jasper Lawler, market analyst at U.K, spread better CMC Markets, branded Trump's victory the more significant political event, labeling it "Brexit 2.0". In a note to clients Lawler wrote: "President Trump said his election would be bigger than Brexit – and as far as financial markets are concerned, that is already true."

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