Almost two-thirds of US rural and small-town voters chose Trump, while a similar proportion in the cities chose Hillary Clinton. In the English countryside, 55% voted for Brexit, while cities as varied as Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool and London voted even more decisively for remain. The stark and growing political division of the US and the UK by population density has been one of the most striking, if under-reported, revelations of the great 2016 electoral reckoning.
Yet the US election and the EU referendum have also shown that even the most confident, expansive cities are politically quite weak. Not simply because their preferred causes lost narrowly in both cases; but because patterns of urban life and both countries’ electoral systems are increasingly out of sync.