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Why is democracy so surprising?

Is being consistently surprised a good thing or a bad thing for democratic politics?

By David Runciman  

Photo: Elisabeth Moseley/DPA/PA Images

Electoral politics has been rife with surprises recently, most notably in the UK and the US. From the 2015 general election (which the Tories weren’t supposed to win but did), through Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in 2016, and on to the general election of 2017 (which the Tories were supposed to win but didn’t), event after event has confounded expectations.

Why were we so surprised, and what does that tell us about the current state of democracy? Is being consistently surprised a…

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