Mid-term elections: Democrats win House in setback for Trump

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The Democrats have taken control of the US House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump. A Democratic majority in the lower chamber for the first time in eight years will restrict his ability to steer his programme through Congress. But Mr Trump’s Republicans are set to strengthen their grip on the Senate.

Tuesday’s vote was seen as a referendum on a polarising president, even though he is not up for re-election till 2020. The election confirms a historical trend for the party that is not in the White House to make gains in the mid-terms. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi – who is set to become speaker, a position she held from 2007 to 2011 – told cheering supporters in Washington: “Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America.”

President Trump focused on the Senate, and praised himself by quoting a commentator. Female candidates performed particularly well in an election cycle that had been billed as the Year of the Woman. Two 29-year-old Democrats, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Abby Finkenauer – are due to be the youngest women ever to win House seats.

Ilhan OImar and Rashida Tlaib are the first Muslim women and Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland the first Native American women to be elected to Congress. All are Democrats.