Donald Trump
Donald Trump was booed at the GOP debate in South Carolina Reuters

Donald Trump suffered a major shock to his campaign during a debate in South Carolina, where he was loudly booed and heckled by his own party.

Republicans in the audience at the presidential debate in Greenville, aired by CBS News, expressed their displeasure with Trump as he discussed the World Trade Centre attacks of 9/11 and how fellow candidate Jeb Bush's brother George handled the aftermath of the terror attacks.

During his criticism of Bush, Trump received loud boos from an audience intent on supporting the presidential hopeful, who has so far polled a long way ahead of Bush, with Bush seeing just 2.8% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses compared to Trump's 27.6%, and just 11% in the New Hampshire Primary compared with Trump's 35.3%.

However, not to be deterred by the jeers, Trump went on to state that former president George Bush made a lot of mistakes and should never have taken the country to war in Iraq.

The audience not only supported Jeb Bush as he sparred with Trump, but cheered Rubio as well – backing any candidate who was not Bush and setting Twitter alight with questions from viewers about the extent of the booing.

Google trends on Twitter showed a 1,400% increase in the question 'why are people booing' from the start of the GOP debate on 13 February, ahead of the South Carolina Primary on Saturday, 20 February.

However, not everyone enjoyed the audience's reaction, with one Twitter using writing: "Does the audience consist only of major Rubio and Bush donors? They're booing what those people would boo", and another adding: "The booing of candidates is getting old".