Trump rides wave of anti-establishment sentiment to one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history. Donald Trump shattered expectations on Tuesday with an election night victory that revealed deep anti-establishment anger among American voters and set the world on a journey into the political unknown.
The Republican nominee has achieved one of the most improbable political victories in modern US history, despite a series of controversies that would easily have destroyed other candidacies, extreme policies that have drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle, a record of racist and sexist behaviour, and a lack of conventional political experience.
After surprise early victories in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, it fell to the Rust Belt states of the industrial midwest to determine the result of his stunning upset.
Wisconsin and Michigan, two states hit hard by a decline in manufacturing jobs and lost by Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, were led by Trump as the race headed for an early morning cliffhanger.
A 2.30am, the Associated Press projected Trump had won Wisconsin and called the overall race for Trump, who passed the 270 electoral college votes he needed to secure the presidency.
Shortly afterwards, CNN and NBC reported that Clinton had called Donald Trump to concede but would not be making a public address.
Trump left Trump Tower for the short journey to the Hilton Midtown, where the president elect then took to the stage and insisted he would “deal fairly with everyone”.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, complicated business, complicated business,” began Trump to raucous chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” from his excited supporters.
“I have just received a call from secretary Clinton She congratulated us – it’s about us and our victory – and I congratulated her on a very hard fought campaign.
“Now it is time for Americans to bind the wounds of division,” he added. “It is time for us to become together as one united people … I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.”
Earlier, Democratic campaign chairman John Podesta appeared before distraught supporters to announce that she would not be appearing to give a concession speech. “Everybody should head home,” he told them, “Get some sleep. We’ll have more to say tomorrow.