On Thursday, Brexit bit into the Labour coalition and bit hard. The Labour Party suffered devastation in working-class areas of the country outside of London, areas that had been voting for the party for generations. Among those that went from Labour to Conservative was the mining district once represented in Parliament by Tony Blair, a former prime minister.
These were districts where voters had supported the Brexit referendum, and these voters finally showed their frustrations by giving Johnson a handsome majority and the power now to begin the initial step of taking the United Kingdom out of the E.U. and into an uncertain future.
A similar thing has been happening in this country as party coalitions undergo changes. Though the Democrats have long claimed to be the party of the white working class, that’s hardly the case anymore. For many years, working-class whites have been moving toward the Republican Party, and under Trump that movement has accelerated. That’s the conundrum facing the Democrats as they think about how to assemble an electoral college majority in 2020.