Bernie Sanders leads New Hampshire primary ahead of Pete Buttigieg

12 February 2020, 06:41

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Bernie Sanders has narrowly beaten moderate rival Pete Buttigieg securing the first clear victory in the Democratic Party's 2020 nomination fight.

The 78-year-old beat back a strong challenge from Mr Buttigieg, a 38-year-old former Midwestern mayor while frontrunner Joe Biden trailed badly in a bruising setback.

"We are gonna win because we have the agenda that speaks to the needs of working people across this country," Mr Sanders told supporters .

"This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump."

The next stage of the race will be the Nevada caucuses on 22 February.

Mr Sanders emerged with a lead over Mr Buttigieg
Mr Sanders emerged with a lead over Mr Buttigieg. Picture: PA

Finishing behind the Vermont senator were two moderates - Mr Buttigieg and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar, who emerged as a surprise contender by taking third place.

The senator for Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren and former favourite Mr Biden finished in fourth and fifth places.

Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Colorado senator Michael Bennet both dropped out of the race.

After a chaotic beginning to primary voting last week in Iowa, Democrats hoped New Hampshire would help give shape to their urgent quest to pick someone to take on US President Donald Trump in November.

Around 280,000 registered Democrats cast ballots on Tuesday night, with 26% voting for Mr Sanders.

With 95% of the vote counted, Mr Sanders had about 4,300 votes more than Mr Buttigieg, or 1.6 per cent.