The billionaire is on stage in New York giving a victory speech after swing states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina took him beyond the 270 Electoral College votes required to take the White House. As fans chanted “USA, USA”, he told his supporters: “I have just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hardfought campaign.” Mr Trump said he was “reaching out” to those who did not support him and that “it is time for us to come together as one united people”.
“The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer,” he added. Mr Trump will not be inaugurated until 20 January – but thoughts are already turning to what his presidency will look like following promises to build a wall at the Mexican border and to ban Muslims from entering the US. In a message to the world, he said: “While we will always put American interests first we will deal with everyone. We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.”
Early exit polls had provided the Democrats with optimism, but shortly after 2am UK time the momentum began to shift as it emerged Mr Trump was edging ahead in a number of key states. The first swing state to be called for Mr Trump was Ohio at just before 3.30am – and Florida, Iowa, North Carolina and Pennsylvania all followed for the billionaire. Mrs Clinton looks set to win the popular vote across the nation – but it is Electoral College votes that count.
World markets began to respond as the US map turned Republican red, with falls reported across Asia and the Mexican peso dropping to a record low against the dollar. The 70yearold will be the oldest person ever inaugurated as US president. On what turned out to be a dream night for the Republicans, the party also retained control of the Senate and the House of Representatives.