Jeremy Corbyn's humiliating defeat a 'canary in the coal mine' for Democrats warns Mike Bloomberg

Nick Allen
Mike Bloomberg warns that Labour's crushing defeat is 'canary in the coal mine' for Democrats - REX

Presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has described Jeremy Corbyn’s crushing defeat as a “canary in the coal mine” for the Democrats as the party gears up for 2020 election.

With the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary only a couple of months away, Democrat centrists have seized upon the UK election results as evidence of the danger the party faces if it drifts too far to the left.

In recent weeks divisions between the centrist and radical wings have been laid bare, particularly over health care.

Leading left-winger Elizabeth Warren, who had been polling strongly, has come under attack for her blueprint which would eventually see America’s private health insurance system replaced by a state-run Medicare system.

Moderates have warned that her radical policies would make her unelectable.

Speaking in Alexandria, Virginia, Mr Bloomberg, a former New York mayor and late entrant to the Democrat race, said the party should learn the lessons of Mr Corbyn’s disastrous campaign.

"I think it's sort of a catastrophic warning to the Democratic Party to have somebody that can beat Donald Trump and that is not going to be easy. Americans want to change, but I think they don't want revolutionary change — they want evolutionary change."

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who is now leading in Iowa and New Hampshire, has emerged as the main hope of the centrists as Joe Biden’s campaign shows signs of faltering.

He also suggested there were lessons to be learned from the UK. 

“It means that you’ve got to be ready to build a coalition and gather that majority,” Mr Buttigieg said.

Another moderate Democratic candidate, John Delaney, urged the party to take on board what had happened in the UK election.

 “Despite the turmoil caused by Brexit, Boris Johnson just won a massive victory with the British electorate, which should be a wake-up call to Democrats," he said.

"Johnson proved that mainstream voters will not embrace an extreme economic plan that will cause upheaval, just because they are not fans of the conservative leader."

Meanwhile, Mr Biden, whose main pitch to has been his ability to beat Donald Trump, will rely on a bastion of states in the US South to see him to the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination - and potentially the White House.

Although the former vice president is faltering in New Hampshire and Iowa, the latest polls show him building seemingly impregnable leads in the South.

Mr Biden leads easily in South Carolina, which will the fourth state to vote. He is also comfortably ahead in Texas, Mississippi,  North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee - in some cases by over 20 points.

Mr Biden's base in the southern states relies on his support from black voters. In South Carolina two-thirds of the Democrat primary electorate is black.

A Quinnipiac poll this week showed Mr Biden with 51 per cent support from black voters in the state, with his nearest rival Mr Sanders on 13 per cent.