A year of waking up to ballot box shocks

A year of waking up to ballot box shocks

Waking up to unexpected political results has become a common occurrence during the past year.

When Theresa May called the snap election in the UK on April 18 she enjoyed the largest poll lead of any Conservative prime minister in modern history.

She said she needed a stronger position in the Commons to secure her plans for the UK's future outside the EU and was widely expected to increase her party's 17-seat majority.

But the vote resulted in a hung parliament and questions over whether she will even remain in her job.

Even as polling stations for the EU referendum closed on the evening of June 23 last year, most observers, pollsters and bookmakers were expecting victory for Remain, albeit by the narrowest of margins.

A year of waking up to ballot box shocks

Ukip leader Nigel Farage even came close to conceding defeat, admitting he believed that Remain had "nicked it" and vowing to fight on for withdrawal from the EU.

The eventual 52% to 48% victory for Brexit caught financial markets and the international order off-guard as repercussions sent shockwaves across the globe.

David Cameron quit as prime minister after the humiliating defeat and more than £100 billion was wiped off the FTSE 100.

The UK is not the only country to have witnessed a stunning political outcome in recent months.

A year of waking up to ballot box shocks

Donald Trump's election as US president on November 8 was the ultimate triumph of the outsider.

The outspoken businessman and TV personality made history as the first person to win the race to the White House in more than 60 years without any experience as a governor or in Congress.

Against almost all pollsters' predictions, the Republican candidate easily cleared the hurdle of 270 US electoral college votes needed to secure victory - even though Democrat rival Hillary Clinton won more actual votes.

It marked a remarkable career change for the entrepreneur, who achieved a new level of celebrity in 2003 following his starring role in the US version of The Apprentice.

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