The voters of America have surprised the world by electing Donald J Trump.

And one of those caught out is Huddersfield politics expert, Dr Pete Woodcock, who admits he too was shocked that the divisive figure had garnered popular support.

Mr Trump, whose angry campaign saw him vow to build a wall between the USA and Mexico and ban Muslims from the country, comfortably secured victory in the US election on Tuesday.

Despite being exposed making racist and sexist comments, he secured a number of key swing states making it impossible for Hillary Clinton to win.

Dr Woodcock said there were distinct similarities between Trump’s success and last June’s surprise Brexit result.

“I didn’t think it would happen,” he admitted. “But it does fit in with a number of trends and obviously resonates with Brexit.

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“You have the notion of right wing populism and opposing the establishment – and there’s no more establishment figure than Hillary Clinton in America.

“As a consequence of that, a vote for Trump was a vote against the establishment.”

Dr Woodcock said anger at the political elite had over-ridden all other concerns for America’s voters.

He said: “If you look at the presidential debates, by normal standards Hillary Clinton absolutely destroyed Donald Trump.

“He had all those scandalous remarks, the sexual assault claims, the failure to publish his taxes, and yet he can still win.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“It shows that there’s something going on here.

“Hillary did better than Barrack Obama in some areas, so it is astonishing that he’s won.”

With his own campaign team banning him from using his Twitter account following a number of gaffes and insults, fears have been raised about the potential of Mr Trump to run the USA effectively.

Prof Pete Woodcock

There has also been concern about whether he could be trusted with the world’s most powerful army and America’s nuclear launch codes.

But Dr Woodcock said Trump’s public fall out with his own party would probably limit his power.

And he said the toned down nature of his acceptance speech indicated he knew he would have to rein in his outrageous behaviour.

“It appears he’s in quite a powerful position as the Republicans have the Senate and the House of Representatives,” said Dr Woodcock. “But an awful lot of Republicans have disowned him.

“I’ll be surprised if we actually see a wall across the Mexican border, or a ban on Muslims, as he won’t get support.

“His acceptance speech was also quite calm, so maybe he’s realised the path ahead is tricky and has already started to cool the rhetoric.

“But if he’s serious about wanting unity he needs to reassure people and become a calmer leader.”