US election 2020 live results: Joe Biden predicts victory as Donald Trump unleashes wave of legal threats

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Marcus Parekh
·125 min read
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Democratic candidate Joe Biden's campaign said he expects to win the 2020 election against President Donald Trump after a nail biting race on Wednesday. 

Mr Biden has taken the key battleground states of Wisconsin and Michigan, although Trump's campaign have said they will request a recount in Wisconsin. This morning, Mr Biden edged ahead in the key battleground states of Nevada and Arizona, though both races remain too close to call.

Mr Biden's campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon predicted he would also win Pennsylvania, despite the fact he currently trails President Trump by more than 300,000 votes.

"We expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes today," Ms O'Malley Dillon said. 

As Democrats forecast victory, Donald Trump launched a Twitter tirade against mail-in voting.   In a series of posts the president said his advantage had "magically disappeared" as the votes were counted. Twitter immediately flagged the content as potentially misleading. 

"How come every time they count Mail-In ballot dumps they are so devastating in their percentage and power of destruction?" Mr Trump said. 

Follow the latest updates below.

11:55 PM

What happens if the result is contested?

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are neck and neck in the US presidential race, with the election on a knife-edge, writes David Millward.

But Mr Trump has called it "a fraud on the American public", claiming the Republicans won the vote and that Democrats are trying to "steal the election".

In a monumental speech at the White House, Mr Trump disputed the results of the election – which are still unknown – as no president has before.

So the question on everyone's lips is: what happens now?

READ MORE:  'Steal the election': What happens next and can Trump stop Biden in Supreme Court? ​

11:41 PM

The state of play as we head in to Thursday

11:31 PM

Scuffles erupt between Trump and Biden supporters near White House

11:20 PM

Trump lead in Georgia 'razor thin'

With 94 per cent of votes in, Donald Trump's lead in Georgia is razor thin, Rozina Sabur writes.

Mr Trump currently has 50 per cent in the state and Mr Biden is on 48.8 per cent. Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said that as of 4pm local time there were roughly 200,000 ballots still to be counted.

The vote tallies are expected to continue into tonight, and possibly into Thursday morning. Georgia has 16 electoral college votes, and a margin of less than one per cent could lead to a recount.

Mr Biden's campaign is likely to be very pleased with his performance here - it has been nearly three decades since a Democrat held the Peach State.

Mr Biden had not viewed Georgia as within his grasp until late in the campaign, making his first trip to the state as the Democratic nominee exactly a week before Election Day.

11:10 PM

Trump lawyer says campaign could file national lawsuit over 'corrupt' ballot counting

Further to our post at 10.34pm, Rudy Giuliani, Mr Trump’s lawyer, and Eric Trump, the president’s son, threatened to launch a national lawsuit on top of the ones already filed in Pennsylvania and Michigan, indicating they were preparing for major legal battles over the count, Josie Ensor in Philadelphia reports.

Speaking at a press conference held at a Philadelphia airport, Mr Giuliani, who has become a key figure in Mr Trump’s re-election campaign, said there was “rampant corruption” and called the late counting of absentee ballots “among the most anti-Democratic things” he had ever seen.

He claimed that in Philadelphia there was a 20-hour period when election observers were not able to watch the votes being counted. He did not immediately provide proof of his allegations and did not answer questions from reporters.

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“We have no idea if they really are ballots, if they are signed, if they are postmarked properly, if it isn’t just the same person who submitted one hundred thousand ballots, they all got counted," he told reporters. "This is the way they intend to win.”

Eric Trump declared victory in Pennsylvania before counting had finished, calling the swing state “Trump Country”: “They know the state is the only path to victory,” he said in front of supporters wearing Trump 2020 signs. “It’s a shame we have to file this suit, but this is rampant corruption and it cannot be allowed to happen.”

11:00 PM

What would Joe Biden’s first 100 days look like?

As Joe Biden slowly inches his way towards the White House, it's worth posing the question - What would Joe Biden’s first 100 days look like?

Joe Biden has made a long litany of promises for his first 100 days if he is elected, but his overriding priority would be the coronavirus pandemic, writes Nick Allen.

In addition, he would try to roll the clock back as much as possible to January 2017, when he and Barack Obama left office.

That would involve using executive orders, as much as possible, to overturn orders introduced by Mr Trump, including those that loosened environmental regulations.

READ MORE:  What happens if Joe Biden wins the 2020 US Election? How his first 100 days could look ​

10:45 PM

Consolation prize for Donald Trump

The US president has won the Electoral College seat from Maine's second congressional district. Maine is one of two states - the other being Nebraska - which splits is Electoral College delegation.

As a result, Joe Biden has won three of Maine's college votes and Donald Trump one.

Mr Trump's victory was in the rural, sparsely populated north of the state, which is dependent on logging, farming and lobstering.

The Trump campaign worked hard to win the seat with the president making several visits to the area.  

He was also helped by persuading the EU to drop its tariffs on Maine's lobsters.

Although Mr Trump won the electoral college berth, the incumbent Democrat, Jared Golden, retained his congressional seat.

10:34 PM

'Crooked Democrats are deplorable', says Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani said the Trump might file a national lawsuit, on top of ones in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as he spoke at an impromptu press conference at the Philadelphia airport.

Mr Giuliani also attacked the Democrats, saying: “This is a concerted effort by the crooked Democrats. They don’t care about the people - they’re deplorables.”

At the same press event, Corey Lewandowski, a campaign adviser, said: “We have won Pennsylvania. The state is Trump Country.”

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10:24 PM

North Carolina election results won't change for a week, say officials

North Carolina election officials said they did not expect vote totals reported by the state to change for more than a week, as the state remained undecided in both the U.S. presidential race and a Senate seat.

North Carolina has 15 electoral votes.

"With very few exceptions, North Carolina's election results will not change until Nov. 12 or 13, when all mail-in ballots are received and counted by each county," Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the state Board of Elections, told a news conference.

State officials have been processing some 5.5 million ballots, but there are 117,000 outstanding mail-in ballots - many of which may not have been cast - and an undetermined number of provisional ballots still in the mix.

As of Wednesday, Republican President Donald Trump led his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, in North Carolina by 50.1% to 48.7% that left the race too close to call.

In the Senate race, Republican Senator Thom Tillis declared victory on Tuesday evening, but Democrat Cal Cunningham has not conceded. Tillis' lead of 48.7% to 46.9% is considered too slim to call the race.

10:15 PM

Trump claims victory in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Michigan

President Trump has taken to Twitter to lay claim to four key swing states, despite the fact that three of the states have not yet declared and the fourth, Michigan, is projected to go to Joe Biden.

"We have claimed, for Electoral Vote purposes, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (which won’t allow legal observers) the State of Georgia, and the State of North Carolina, each one of which has a BIG Trump lead," he tweeted.

Mr Trump also said he would declare victory in Michigan if "there was a large number of secretly dumped ballots as has been widely reported!"

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10:05 PM

US politician who died of Covid-19 wins North Dakota seat

A Republican candidate was elected to the state legislature in North Dakota, despite the fact that he had died a month earlier of coronavirus, officials said.

David Andahl, a farmer and businessman, died on October 5 at the age of 55 "after a short battle with Covid-19," his family said on the Facebook page of his campaign for the local assembly.

"He has been a public servant for many years and was looking forward to the opportunity to serve in the state legislature," the family statement said.

That ambition was fulfilled posthumously when the former race car driver was elected to North Dakota's 8th congressional district with a third of the votes, winning the last race of his life.

Faced with a deceased elected official, the attorney general of the rural northern state said the situation would be treated in the same way as a legislator stepping down or retiring, and that the local Republican party would name a replacement.

09:56 PM

Joe Biden: 'I believe we will be the winners'

09:48 PM

Fox News scores a ratings win as it angers Trump and his allies

Fox News Channel's election coverage led all networks with 13.7 million prime-time viewers on a night it riled President Donald Trump and some of his supporters with an early call from a battleground state for Democrat Joe Biden, preliminary ratings data showed.

The network owned by Rupert Murdoch's Fox Corp, and whose commentators often promote Trump's agenda, stood alone for three hours with its projection that Biden would win Arizona. As of Wednesday, the winner of the presidency remained undecided while vote counts continued.

Fox News was also more than five hours ahead of CNN on projecting Biden would take Virginia, and hours in front on other states. It beat the Associated Press by 90 minutes on saying Trump would win the battleground state of Florida. None of those calls have been disputed.

"Whether they were premature or right on time, the fact of the matter is that they were calling the races in the way races should be called, instead of through the lens that Trump would prefer," said Frank Sesno, a former CNN correspondent and director of strategic initiatives at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs. "That's their job."

Their approach angered some Trump backers. Jason Miller, a Trump campaign senior adviser, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey were among those saying Fox News acted too quickly. Fox News correspondent John Roberts said on air that the Trump campaign was "livid."

09:39 PM

Nearly seven per cent of postal ballots stuck in processing facilities

The US Postal Service has admitted that nearly seven per cent of mail-in ballots were not processed in time to be counted, David Millward writes.

In court filings it admitted that it had failed to hit the 97 per cent target which it should have hit, the Washington Post reported.

Overall USPS has admitted that more than 300,000 postal votes have been lost.

The disclosure will heap further pressure on Louis DeJoy, the Trump-appointed postmaster general, who has come under fire for bringing in changes including removing sorting machines which led to delays in delivering mail-in ballots.

On Tuesday the postal service defied a court order which called for sorting facilities to be swept for the missing votes.

The refusal to comply with the order incensed Judge Emmet Sullivan who is expected to summon Mr DeJoy for an explanation.

09:23 PM

Joe Biden wins Michigan, CNN projects

In a massive moment that came while Joe Biden was delivering his remarks to the nation, CNN have called the swing state of Michigan for the Democrat.

Michigan is a key rust belt state, which went for Trump in 2016. It's 16 electoral college votes put Biden just 17 votes away from the White House, and make President Trump's path to re-election that much harder.

With 99 per cent of all votes tabulated, Mr Biden looks set to carry the state by 60,000 votes.

READ MORE: US election results and maps 2020: Wisconsin called for Biden as race on knife-edge

09:18 PM

Biden: 'I believe we will be the winners'

Speaking from Wilmington, Delaware, Joe Biden says that he is on track to win enough votes to claim the presidency.

While the Democrat stopped short of declaring victory, he said he "feels very good about our position in Pennsylvania".

Mr Biden used the address as an opportunity to try and unite the divided country, saying that the time had come to "put the harsh campaign rhetoric behind us" and that while he has campaigned as a Democrat, he will "govern as an American president".

09:11 PM

'Sharpiegate' theory gathers momentum in Arizona

A political storm is brewing in Arizona over viral rumours claiming that ballots marked with a sharpie will not be properly counted, Laurence Dodds reports. 

Election officials have said that sharpies are fine for in-person voting and explained their use of the pens, with one county bluntly describing the "Sharpiegate" theory as "false". 

Arizona's Democratic secretary of state Katie Hobbs also said that some voters might see their ballots listed online as "cancelled" due to a quirk in Arizona's election system that does not actually invalidate their vote.

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That has so far failed to stem the tide of conspiratorial social media posts making claims of election fraud, in some cases boosted by national-level conservative activists.

Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich, a Republican (his position is separately elected), said he was investigating hundreds of complaints from voters and demanded that election officials give a full explanation of their pen choices.

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There doesn't seem to be any evidence of mass sharpie invalidation, let alone a deliberate plot. But it is an early taste of the kind of rumours and conspiracy theories, earnest and concocted, that could swirl for many weeks yet.

09:03 PM

Trump's fraud allegations 'harm public trust', says election observer

The head of an international observer mission to the US elections criticized President Donald Trump's allegations of cheating, saying he undermined trust in democracy.

"Baseless allegations of systematic deficiencies, notably by the incumbent president, including on election night, harm public trust in democratic institutions," said Michael Georg Link, who led an observer mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors elections throughout Western nations and the former Soviet Union.

08:54 PM

Trump campaign confident of victory

Bill Stepien, Trump's campaign manager, and Jason Miller, a campaign senior adviser, said the campaign was confident Trump has won Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia, securing his re-election. 

“By the end of this week it will be clear to the entire nation that President Trump and Vice President Pence will be re-elected," Mr Stepien said.

Mr Stepien said the campaign has filed for a recount in Wisconsin “due to the close results” and “especially with the abnormalities seen late last night”.

Campaign manager Bill Stepien stands alongside US President Donald Trump - SAUL LOEB /AFP
Campaign manager Bill Stepien stands alongside US President Donald Trump - SAUL LOEB /AFP

Mr Stepien also said the campaign has a “high degree of certainty” they have won Pennsylvania based on their team’s data, saying the “math shows a path forward in Pennsylvania".

The campaign also said it saw the “possibility of victory in Arizona” and called on Fox News and AP to “immediately withdraw” its calls of a Biden victory in the state.

Jason Miller also said of Pennsylvania: “Even if the Democrats channeled their inner 1960 Chicago allies of JFK they still could not come up with enough ballots to win this thing”.

08:43 PM

Trump campaign declares victory in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump's campaign have declared victory in Pennsylvania, despite the fact that 15 per cent of the vote still left to be counted.

At one point overnight, the president held a commanding lead of more than 600,000 votes in the Keystone state, but his lead is dwindling as the early vote is being counted.

The declaration comes as his campaign also announced they are suing in order to halt the counting of votes in the state.

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 READ MORE:  Why Pennsylvania is so important in the 2020 election

08:33 PM

Trump campaign suing to halt Pennsylvania vote count

President Donald Trump's campaign said it is suing to halt the counting of votes in Pennsylvania, after mounting similar challenges in fellow crucial election sates of Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Trump campaign accused electoral officials of prohibiting its "observers" from approaching closer to 25 feet (7.6 meters) to vote counters in Pennsylvania.

"We are also suing to temporarily halt counting until there is meaningful transparency and Republicans can ensure all counting is done above board and by the law," deputy campaign manager Justin Clark said in a statement.

A Detroit police officer stops election challengers from entering the central counting board due to overcrowding - Carlos Osorio /AP
A Detroit police officer stops election challengers from entering the central counting board due to overcrowding - Carlos Osorio /AP

08:26 PM

Stocks rally as Wall Street cheers potential gridlock

U.S. stocks have surged as the race for the White House remains undecided and the likelihood of gridlock in Congress gives investors optimism that major policy changes will be hard to enact.

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden still have paths to reach the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win as states keep counting mail-in ballots.

A surprise win by Republican Senator Susan Collins in Maine has also dimmed the hopes of Democrats that they can get control of the U.S. Senate.

"The divided congress means nothing major or extreme from a policy standpoint is likely going to happen anytime soon, be it increased taxes, more restrictive energy policy, more stimulus, things like that look like they got pulled right off the table," said Shawn Cruz, Senior Market Strategist at TD Ameritrade in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 605.68 points, or 2.2%, to 28,085.71, the S&P 500 has gained 96.07 points, or 2.85%, to 3,465.23 and the Nasdaq Composite has added 441.61 points, or 3.96%, to 11,602.18.

08:17 PM

Biden to speak shortly

Joe Biden is expected to speak in Wilmington, Delaware shortly.

You'll be able to see all his remarks in our livestream, which is available at the top of this blog!

08:11 PM

'Trump has committed sacrilege'

The President used his late-night declaration of victory before he had earned it to concoct a false narrative as an electoral fraud victim, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

Donald Trump has denied his likely successor the consecrating ritual of concession. America’s mechanism for handing over power has broken down.There is no constitutional procedure for removing a president who refuses to accept defeat, if that is what occurs when the final votes are tallied.

READ MORE:  Trump has committed sacrilege and set in motion a fateful chain of events ​

08:01 PM

Wisconsin the first state to 'flip'

Joe Biden's win in Wisconsin represents the first time a state has flipped in the 2020 election.

Donald Trump carried America's Dairyland by just 22,000 votes in 2016, but appears to have lost his grip over the midwestern battleground.

Interestingly, no state that has declared prior to this point has broken with their 2016 voting pattern. If Biden is to win the keys to the White House, he's going to have to flip several more, with Arizona and Michigan currently looking the most likely candidates.

READ MORE: US election results and maps 2020: Wisconsin called for Biden as race on knife-edge

07:53 PM

'Creepy' robocalls told millions of swing state voters to 'stay home'

Mysterious robocalls telling people to “stay safe and stay home” were made to 2.6m voters in critical swing states on election day, sparking concerns that they have impacted turnout, Margi Murphy reports. 

An estimated 8.7m Americans may have received a call in which a female voice says: “Hello this is just a test call time to stay home, stay safe and stay home”.

Guilia Porter, vice president at RoboKiller, which collected the figures, said that she was not convinced they were the work of a sophisticated election meddler, but feared they may have had an impact on the vote regardless.

She said: “I think a lot of people were spooked by these calls as the timing is really eerie". 

READ MORE:  'Creepy' robocalls told 2.7m swing state voters to 'stay home' on US election day ​

07:42 PM

Election day 2 in pictures

Election challengers observe as ballots are counted at the central counting board - Carlos Osorio /AP
Election challengers observe as ballots are counted at the central counting board - Carlos Osorio /AP
Demonstrators gather outside of the Republican National Committee Headquarters - Alex Brandon /AP
Demonstrators gather outside of the Republican National Committee Headquarters - Alex Brandon /AP
Protestors who want every vote counted from the 2020 presidential election, march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit - JEFF KOWALSKY /AFP
Protestors who want every vote counted from the 2020 presidential election, march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit - JEFF KOWALSKY /AFP
A view of the White House - BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI /AFP
A view of the White House - BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI /AFP

07:31 PM

Trump campaign asks court to suspend vote count in Michigan

The campaign of President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit in Michigan to stop the counting of ballots.

"We have filed suit today in the Michigan Court of Claims to halt counting until meaningful access has been granted. We also demand to review those ballots which were opened and counted while we did not have meaningful access," the campaign said in a statement.

There is no clear presidential winner in the swing state, which has 16 electoral votes, according to Edison Research. Republican Trump's opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, has a razor-thin margin in Michigan, where 92 per cent of the expected vote is in.

07:23 PM

How Joe Biden won back blue-collar, rust belt workers

For Joe Biden, the "scrappy kid from Scranton", it has always been about the Midwest. If he lost there, he told himself, he had no hope of winning, writes Josie Ensor

Mr Biden spent the majority of his campaign trying to appeal to the men and women he believed he could win back from Donald Trump in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan - the trio of traditionally Democratic industrial states that cost the party the White House in 2016.

And now, with Mr Biden and the president locked in a race that has gone down to the wire, the path to 270 Electoral College votes for either man will wind through the three.

If predictions based on early returns bore out, Mr Biden could well pull off the hat-trick to claim victory.

READ MORE:  How Joe Biden won back blue-collar workers in the crucial rust belt states ​

07:12 PM

Trump closes gap in betting markets

It's been a rollercoaster ride for the bookies over the past 36 hours, and the markets have moved once again. Donald Trump has closed the gap on his Democrat rival, and is now available at 9/4, according to Betfair.

Joe Biden had pulled away over the course of this afternoon, peaking at a win probability of 79 per cent.

However, the president has made up a little ground in Arizona and is still performing well in Pennsylvania, which could explain why his odds are shortening once again.

07:04 PM

Biden wins Wisconsin, CNN projects

CNN have just called Wisconsin for Joe Biden, handing him 10 vital electoral college votes.

Biden now has 237 votes, leaving him needing just 33 more to take the White House. Mr Biden has won the states by just 20,000 votes.

Trump and his campaign team have already said they will request a recount in Wisconsin, although traditionally, recounts do not lead to big shifts in voting totals.

READ MORE: US election results and maps 2020: Wisconsin called for Biden as race on knife-edge

06:58 PM

Trump significantly outperforms polls

Our US editor Ben Riley-Smith has been crunching some numbers and they reveal that, so far, Donald Trump is smashing all the expectations set for him by pollsters - again.

He's currently beating expectations in Pennsylvania by a whopping 13 per cent, though a fifth of the vote is still to be counted.

In Florida, he flipped the state by a full five points, which ultimately gave him the 29 electoral college votes on offer from the Sunshine state.

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06:50 PM

How the left reacted to Donald Trump's rogue election victory claim

06:39 PM

Republican incumbent Senator Collins claims victory in Maine

Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins claimed victory in her U.S. Senate re-election contest, saying her Democratic challenger has called to concede the race.

"This is an affirmation of the work that I'm doing in Washington," Ms Collins told reporters. Her rival, Democrat Sarah Gideon, has scheduled an announcement.

The result represents a real blow for the Democrats, who entered the night with hopes they could flip the Senate and had targeted Ms Collins' seat. 

06:30 PM

Mississippi votes to remove confederate symbol from state flag

It was not just the vote for president that was on the ballot last night. In several states, key local issues were voted on as well.

In Mississippi, voters approved the design of a new state flag, replacing the Confederate-themed banner which was retired earlier this year.

Elsewhere, Oregon become the first US state to decriminalise hard drugs including heroin and cocaine while Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and  South Dakota all backed the legalisation of recreational cannabis.

READ MORE: Mississippi votes to remove Confederate symbol while various states move to legalise cannabis​

06:22 PM

How key states voted after polls underestimated Trump

Ahead of election day many pollsters predicted a comfortable victory for Joe Biden over Donald Trump, but after the incumbent held his grip on a series of influential states the US presidential race is now going down to the wire.

A larger than expected Hispanic support seems to have helped Trump cling on - but the eventual winner will now be determined by the millions of mail-in ballots that are still being counted.

Once again a handful of Rust Belt states - including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin - will be instrumental in who enters the White House next year.

READ MORE:  US election 2020: How key states voted after polls underestimated Trump ​

06:14 PM

Key dates moving forward

06:06 PM

US postal voting explained

06:02 PM

Judge wants U.S. postmaster to answer questions on delay in ballot sweep

A U.S. judge said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must answer questions about why the U.S. Postal Service failed to complete a court-ordered sweep for undelivered ballots in about a dozen states before a Tuesday afternoon deadline.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said at a hearing that Mr DeJoy "is either going to have to be deposed or appear before me and testify under oath about why some measures were not taken."

The Postal Service, or USPS, disclosed it had completed the sweeps late on Tuesday and turned up just 13 ballots in Pennsylvania.

Judge Sullivan had ordered the sweeps in response to lawsuits by groups including Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.

The USPS told Judge Sullivan it could not meet his deadline for completing the checks, saying it was not logistically possible.

"The court has been very clear that it expects total compliance," Judge Sullivan said. "I was just as shocked to hear that nothing else was done after the injunction was issued."

05:55 PM

Trump will ask for recount in Wisconsin, says campaign manager

We still don't have the final result from Wisconsin, but Trump's team have already said the President will demand an immediate recount.

In order for Trump to do so, he must be within a margin of one per cent at the end of the first count. If he is more than one per cent behind Biden, then local electoral law will prevent him from doing so.

"There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results," campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement, without providing details of any reports. "The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so.”

Local officials in Wisconsin say only one township has yet to report their results, with only about 300 votes to come in from that area.

05:46 PM

State vote count will take a while, say Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is discounting President Donald Trump's early claim that he'd already won the election, saying it's going to take a while for states to conduct their vote counts.

The Kentucky Republican and Trump ally said Wednesday that "claiming you've won the election is different from finishing the counting."

McConnell also says he is untroubled by Trump's vows to contest the vote count in key states, telling reporters in Louisville that "you should not be shocked that both sides are going to have lawyers there."

He added that "the courts will decide disputes. That's the way we do it in this country."

Early Wednesday, Trump said, "We will win this, and as far as I'm concerned we already have won it."

But the outcome is still unclear in key states Trump would need if he is to win against Democrat Joe Biden.

05:36 PM

'Trump has changed the Republican party for a generation'

The new Trump voters have turned elite convention upside down, writes Tim Stanley

The consensus had been that Donald Trump was a temporary feature of American politics. Well, he's not. Trump has changed the Republican Party's character, issue agenda and coalition – for a generation, at least.Put yourself in the shoes of a moderate Republican, the kind of person who used to run the party. What you wanted was for Trump to be repudiated in a landslide, to expose him as unpopular and an anomaly, allowing you to recapture and rebuild the party over the next four years.

READ MORE:  Trump has changed the Republican Party's character for a generation – at least

05:28 PM

Election night draws estimated 22.8 million TV viewers

An estimated 22.8 million people watched U.S. election returns on television on Tuesday night, according to preliminary ratings cited by Hollywood outlets The Wrap and the Hollywood Reporter, suggesting viewership may be down from election night in 2016.

They cited early Nielsen data across six networks - Walt Disney Co's ABC, Fox, Comcast Corp's NBC, CBS and Spanish-language channels Univision and Telemundo.

The Wrap said the preliminary figures showed a shortfall of several million viewers across the six networks compared to early data reported on election night in 2016.

However the data did not include cable television and it was unclear what time frame was measured for the programming, which stretched into the early hours of Wednesday as the outcome of the presidential election between Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden remained in the balance.

Numbers are expected to rise when final Nielsen data across multiple networks is released later on Wednesday.

According to final data in 2016, 71.4 million people watched across 13 U.S. networks when Trump scored a surprise victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. 

05:19 PM

Wisconsin result imminent

We're expecting to find out any moment where Wisconsin's ten electoral college votes will go.

Biden currently leads in the key swing state by just over 20,000 votes, with 3 per cent of the vote left to be officially declared. 

Should he hold on, that will take him to 237 electoral college votes, just 33 short the all important 270 and the presidency.

05:16 PM

Biden's performance in swing states

There's still a long way to go in this race, and key swing states including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have yet to declare.

However, Biden is already significantly outperforming Hillary Clinton in those states, coming close to matching Barack Obama's performance in 2012, most notably in Arizona.

05:08 PM

The special relationship in the Biden era

The UK faces having to reset its international relations with a 77-year-old Europhile who has never even met the Prime Minister, writes Camilla Tominey.

The revelation that neither Boris Johnson nor Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has ever met Joe Biden suggests there will be much work to do on the special relationship should the Democratic favourite end up becoming the next US President.For it isn’t just the American electorate that is currently being held in limbo as the count continues across the pond but also a Downing Street administration that has so far made few inroads into the 77-year-old former vice president’s camp.

READ MORE:  Will the special relationship need rebuilding if Joe Biden wins?  ​

05:05 PM

Donald Trump's Twitter feed filled with warning labels and fact checks

Donald Trump’s attempts to use social media to challenge the election process continue to receive pushback from both Twitter and Facebook, reports James Titcomb in San Francisco.

Visiting the President’s Twitter and Facebook feeds currently shows a string of fact checks and warning labels, saying his posts may be misleading and that election results are not yet in.

On Wednesday, Twitter hid tweets in which Mr Trump attributed his waning lead in key swing states to “surprise ballot dumps”, which he called “VERY STRANGE”, as well as a post from blogger Matt Walsh that the President had quoted.

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In the last 24 hours, the company has now taken action on four posts that Mr Trump has posted or re-posted from others.

“As votes are still being counted across the country, our teams continue to take enforcement action on tweets that prematurely declare victory or contain misleading information about the election broadly,” a spokesperson said.

Identical posts on Mr Trump’s Facebook feed, where he has 33m followers, are also being labelled, directing users to official voting results. However, this does not seem to have stopped their spread. According to Crowdtangle, a tool that tracks engagement on Facebook posts, the top three performing posts are from the President.

05:00 PM

Wisconsin result may be imminent

There are noises coming out of Wisconsin that an announcement on the result could come at any moment.

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04:57 PM

'Donald Trump gave those poor, patronising Islington liberals the shock of their lives'

For what it’s worth, it’s Hampstead I really felt sorry for. No, I don’t mean New Hampshire. The state known as the Switzerland of America, like the real Switzerland, will always be fine, whatever the result, my friend. Not so Islington.Again, not Islington Massachusetts, but Islington in the aching, breaking heart of the liberal North London elite, where the the chattering classes fell uncharacteristically silent on Tuesday night as they watched in slo-mo horror what appeared to be the greatest threat to civilised life since avocados were outed as the world’s latest conflict commodity.

Read more from Judith Woods here.

04:52 PM

Election day 2 - the count

Absentee Ballots are certified and then counted at TCF Center, in Detroit, Michigan - JEFFREY SAUGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
Absentee Ballots are certified and then counted at TCF Center, in Detroit, Michigan - JEFFREY SAUGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock /Shutterstock
A demonstrator protests with a sign on their back near the White House - ALEX EDELMAN /AFP
A demonstrator protests with a sign on their back near the White House - ALEX EDELMAN /AFP
Municipal workers scan Luzerne County ballots in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - Mary Altaffer /AP
Municipal workers scan Luzerne County ballots in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania - Mary Altaffer /AP
Detroit election workers work on counting absentee ballots at TCF Center - JEFF KOWALSKY /AFP
Detroit election workers work on counting absentee ballots at TCF Center - JEFF KOWALSKY /AFP

04:43 PM

Germans plead for 'trust' in US electoral system

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged America's politicians to help maintain "trust" in the electoral system after President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory in the tightly contested race.

"It is important that all politicians who reach people directly, establish trust in the electoral process and the results," Mr Maas said in a statement, adding that it would be "premature" to comment further given that ballots were still being counted.

"We must now be patient," said the minister, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European union.

04:38 PM

Pennsylvania faces 'mammoth' vote count

An army of election workers at the Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia worked furiously through the night and into the day to process uncounted votes, as the world watched with bated breath, Josie Ensor reports.

The bleary-eyed volunteers sifted carefully through the hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots in the swing state of Pennsylvania that could either help deliver a victory to President Donald Trump, or one of its sons, Joe Biden.

Unfortunately for both candidates - and the rest of the world - the count has been hampered by a last-minute legal stay and could take days.

READ MORE:  Pennsylvania faces mammoth task as final result could take days ​

04:33 PM

Bolsonaro offers his thoughts

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he hoped Donald Trump would come out ahead in the down-to-the-wire US election, lashing out at Democratic contender Joe Biden's comments on protecting the Amazon rainforest.

The far-right leader, who has been dubbed a "Tropical Trump," has cultivated a close relationship with the Republican president, and has not been shy about endorsing his bid for reelection.

"You know where I stand, I've been clear. I have a good relationship with Trump. I hope he'll be reelected," Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace in Brasilia.

He denied backing Trump amounted to "interference" in US affairs, saying, "Who are we to interfere anyway? How do you want me to interfere? Economically? Militarily? A cyber attack?" he joked.

Turning to Biden, Bolsonaro attacked the former vice president for urging Brazil to better preserve the Amazon.

"The Democratic candidate has spoken twice about the Amazon. Is that what you want for Brazil? Now that's what I call interference," he said.

04:29 PM

Biden campaign manager speaks

Biden's campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon says that she thinks Mr Biden will be the next president, with confirmation possibly to come as early as this evening.

"Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States ... We believe we are on a clear path to victory by this afternoon," she said.

"Let's be extremely clear about something, if Donald Trump got his wish and we stopped counting ballots right now, Vice President Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States."

"We expect at some point later today that the vice president will address the American people," she added. "We believe we are on a clear path to victory by this afternoon."

04:24 PM

More from Bob Bauer, the Biden campaign lawyer

Further to our 4.08pm update, Mr Bauer said the president could file a case in a lower court, lose, then take it to an appeal court, lose again, and then try to get the Supreme Court to hear it.

He said: "I don't know what that case is going to be. It's impossible to imagine it will have any merit, in fact I would have to say laughably without merit. We're winning the election, we've won the election, and we're going to defend that election."

04:18 PM

Biden pulls back ahead in betting markets

Democratic candidate Joe Biden was back as clear favorite to win the U.S. presidential election in online betting markets, a reversal of fortune for President Donald Trump who had been favoured overnight.

The shift, according to data from three odds aggregators, came after Biden overtook Trump in the battleground state of Wisconsin, with an estimated 95% of the vote tallied there.

British-based Smarkets exchange was giving Biden an 82% chance, while New Zealand-based predictions market PredictIt had Biden at 80%. Trump's chances on Smarkets were sitting at 17% - a massive drop from nearly 80% overnight.

"Taking the lead in Wisconsin could be the turning point with the Democrat now also projected to win Nevada and Arizona, which would likely give him the 270 electoral college votes he needs for victory," Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said.

Bettors on Betfair were giving Biden a 78% chance to win - the highest ever - by late morning time on the U.S. East Coast.

04:08 PM

Biden campaign lawyer says Trump legal challenge 'certain to fail'

Bob Bauer, the Biden campaign lawyer, said Mr Trump's attempt at a legal challenge was "absolutely certain to fail" and "absurd", Nick Allen reports from Delaware.

Mr Bauer said: "He apparently huddled with his advisers and analysts and hustled out to say he needed the vote count to stop because he knew where it was going to lead. What he said was extraordinary."

"Let me tell you if you go to the Supreme Court today and drive around the building you will not see Donald Trump and you will not see his lawyers. He's not going to the Supreme Court to get the voting to stop."

Mr Bauer said "if at some point he arrives before the Supreme Court" then "he will be in for one of the most embarrassing defeats a president ever suffered before the highest court in the land."

He added: "We're going to defend this vote, the vote by which Joe Biden has been elected to the presidency."

"This attempt to defeat the voters intent and undermine democracy is absolutely certain to fail." He added: "We have lawyers ready to go, papers ready to go, within an hour of any step they take."

04:03 PM

Results in Pennsylvania may not be clear today

Pennsylvania's mail-in ballots may take so long to count that the election result might not be clear until tomorrow. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf  reassured voters that the system was working however, as he sought to allay concerns in a press conference on Wednesday. 

"There are millions of mail-in ballots that are being counted. And that takes longer than the standard in person voting. So we may not know the results even today. But the most important thing is that we have accurate results. Again, even if that takes a little longer than we are used to."

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03:59 PM

Biden to address American shortly

As the nation awaits the election results, Joe Biden is due to brief the nation. 

"We expect that at some point later today that the Vice President will address the American people," campaign manager Jennifer O'Malley Dillon said.

Democratic Candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks as he stands with Dr. Jill Biden at his Election Night event  - Shutterstock
Democratic Candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks as he stands with Dr. Jill Biden at his Election Night event - Shutterstock

03:55 PM

Analysis: Trump campaign says president is on course to win

US Editor Ben Riley-Smith breaks down the Trump camp briefing from in Washington DC:

This is very interesting. Donald Trump’s campaign team just held a short briefing call. If you want a one line summary it is this: They are still saying the president will win.

Two of Mr Trump’s top campaign advisers, Bill Stepien, the campaign manager, and Jason Miller, a senior adviser, spelled out the maths behind their bold claim.

They argued the president will win Pennsylvania. They said there were still between 1.2 million and 1.4 million votes to count. Mr Trump currently leads there.

They walked through the counties from which votes were still to be counted, arguing that even if Democrats do very, very well in the city of Philadelphia other areas lean Mr Trump.

The advisers also argued that Mr Trump will win Arizona. That is a big call - this is the state Fox News declared early for Mr Biden, prompting fury from the Trump campaign overnight.

They argued that their data, combined with insights from the state’s Republican governor, is much better than cable news channel analysts in Washington DC and New York.

“We trust our data, we trust our math”, one campaign adviser said. Mr Miller said of Arizona: "Anyone who has called this race is just plain wrong.”

The advisers also talked up their chances in Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin. In Nevada, where it is too close to call, they said they were still in with a chance of flipping the seat.

In the other two, Mr Biden has a narrow lead as the postal ballots keep being counted. The president’s team argued Republican-leaning districts in both states still had votes to be logged.

"If we count all legally cast ballots we believe the president will win,” Mr Stepien said.

That hinted at another aspect of the call - we now have a better sense of how Mr Trump’s team will spin the legal challenges that the president said in his speech were coming.

Mr Miller said: “We want to make sure all legally cast ballots are counted. We also want to make sure illegally cast ballots are not counted.”

Which, of course, raises the question of which votes have been cast illegally and should not be counted. That will be the focus of the court battle that is almost inevitably coming.

None of the above should be taken as fact. It is political spin, an attempt by the Trump campaign to shape the narrative. But it is useful to hear nonetheless.

One big takeaway - the Trump campaign is talking much, much more about winning Arizona and Pennsylvania than Michigan and Wisconsin.

Which means a lot depends on Arizona. Win it, Mr Biden has flipped a key state and does not need a clean sweep in the Midwest. Lose it, Mr Trump is cheering.

03:52 PM

50 per cent of mail-in ballots counter in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said on Wednesday the state is approaching 50 per cent of mail ballots counted and vowed that every vote will be tallied before results are announced.

"There are still millions of ballots left to be counted," she told reporters. There are 10 times the number of mail ballots this year as in 2016, she said. "We are going to count every single ballot."

03:47 PM

Trump campaign manager beats back doubt

On a call with press just now, Bill Stepien, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, seemed confident, writes Josie Ensor.

"We are confident in our pathway, we are confident in our math. When we look at the states still on the board, we project confidence, because of the math that is still in front of us," he told reporters.

Mr Stepien said the Trump team is certain the president will win Nevada once "all legal ballots" are counted. He said Wisconsin, which is currently among the closest of the swing state races, is in recount territory.

He told reporters he is confident the president will be re-elected with a 270 pathway that runs through Michigan, Georgia and Nevada.

While he believes in will win Pennsylvania too once all the votes are counted here. Mr Trump, meanwhile, has woken up as is tweeting about the so-called “red mirage.”

“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!”

03:24 PM

If vote counting stops, Biden would win

Jen O’Malley Dillon added that if polling stations stopped counting votes - as Donald Trump has alluded to - Democratic nominee Joe Biden would win the election. 

"Let’s be extremely clear about something, if Donald Trump got his wish and we stopped counting ballots right now, vice president Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States."

03:21 PM

'We believe we have a clear path to victory'

Biden campaign managed Jen O’Malley Dillon said the Democrats are confident they will have a "clear path to victory by this afternoon". 

"We expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes today," she said. 

"The vice president will garner more votes than any presidential candidate in history, and we’re still counting. He has won over 50 per cent of the popular vote.

"We are on track to win in Michigan by more than Donald Trump did in 2016. To win in Wisconsin by more than Trump did in 2016.

"To win in Pennsylvania by more than Trump did in 2016. And we flipped one of his states, Arizona."

03:18 PM

Biden campaign speaking live

The Democratic party are currently running a livestream they call an "Election protection briefing". 

Jen O’Malley Dillon, campaign manager, and  Bob Bauer,  former Counsel to president Barack Obama, are speaking. 

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03:17 PM

Trump lashes out

Donald Trump has lashed out via Twitter in response to Joe Biden's apparent tight lead in the election. 

"Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled.," the president said.

"Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the “pollsters” got it completely & historically wrong!"

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03:07 PM

Watch: four years of Donald Trump

Since his victory in 2016 and inauguration in 2017, President Donald Trump has been at the helm of one of the most unconventional and eventful presidencies in recent memory.

For a refresher of all the key moments that have defined President Trump's time in the White House, watch the video below.

03:01 PM

You would rather be Joe Biden right now

US Editor Ben Riley-Smith is reporting from Washington DC:

Hello from Washington DC, where the sun has risen and it is the morning after the night before. Most residents, you suspect, are waking with a headache.

The scenario so many dreaded - of an election too close to call and a president attempting to claim victory for himself prematurely - has come to pass. But as we digest the latest counts, there is an emerging consensus on the US cable news shows around this point: You would rather be Joe Biden than Donald Trump right now.

Mr Biden’s path appears a little wider. The clearest one is for him to win four states: Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin. Mr Biden is ahead in Arizona, which has been called for him by some media outlets. He is also ahead in Nevada, though the count is tight there and a result may wait until tomorrow.

Then you are onto the Midwest, that cluster of states in (confusingly) America’s North East, which Mr Trump turned red in 2016 and Mr Biden was picked to a substantial degree to turn blue. Mr Biden has taken the lead in Wisconsin as the postal votes, which are overwhelmingly Democratic, are counted. He is edging into the lead in Michigan too. If those four states go then in all likelihood he hits the magic 270 electoral votes number to win the presidency. 

He would not need Georgia, which is leaning Democratic anyway as things stand - a Republican bastion in the South which could still topple. Nor would he need Pennsylvania, where Mr Trump holds a sizable lead of around half a million votes which is getting eaten into as mail-in ballots are counted. 

This does not mean the race is over. Far from it. Counting is on-going, which means votes are yet to be opened and logged, which means anything could still happen. Mr Trump could pull off a hat-trick of wins in the Midwest, taking Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Mr Biden’s lead in each of those last two is less than 25,000 votes right now. If there is one thing we have learned, again, from Tuesday it is to never, ever call a race before the votes are counted (especially if you are just looking at opinion polls).  But one suspects the Biden camp is sitting a little more comfortably than the Trump camp right now. 

02:50 PM

Biden adviser: 'We're going to win today'

A top official in the Biden campaign has told CNN he is confident the Democratic nominee will win the election. 

“We feel good...We’re going to win today," the senior adviser said. 

The official also revealed the campaign's view on the battle states yet to be called:

  1. Fulton County is a key part of their campaign in Georgia. Its county seat is Atlanta, the state capital - an area where Joe Biden has shown strength.

  2. Mail-in voters are expected to push Mr Biden over the finish line in Michigan. 

  3. The Biden campaign also feels optimistic about their prospects in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

02:38 PM

AP tally shows Biden lead in Michigan for first time

Democratic candidate Joe Biden has pulled ahead in Michigan for the first time, according to a tally by Associated Press. 

The state is critical to both candidates in their push for the White House. Donald Trump managed to flip it in 2016, when he unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton. 

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The president made Michigan his final stop on election night, holding a rally full of cheering supporters just after midnight. 

“You better get out and vote tomorrow,” Mr Trump told the crowd in Grand Rapids “I’ll be so angry, I’ll never come back.”

02:26 PM

Would a Biden or Trump win be best for the UK?

Donald Trump and Joe Biden have radically different views on many subjects.

Each could enhance, or weaken the special relationship, in a variety of areas.

As America waits for the final votes to counted, here, we look at which 2020 election result would be best for Britain.

Read more here.

02:11 PM

US media responds

As the the United States wakes up, newspapers across the country have responded to the election result - or lack of. 

The front page of the Washington Post
The front page of the Washington Post
The Chicago Sun Times
The Chicago Sun Times
The New York Times
The New York Times
USA Today
USA Today

01:56 PM

Dominic Raab: UK waits patiently for result

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK will wait patiently to find out the results of the election, adding that he has "full confidence" in the United States. 

 "We need to be patient and wait and see who wins the US election. Important the process is given sufficient time to reach a conclusion. We have full confidence in the checks and balances of the US system to produce a result.

"The UK-US relationship is in great shape and we are confident it will go from strength to strength whichever candidate wins the election. Across trade, security, intelligence, defence, innovation and culture, no two countries do more together."

01:45 PM

Key senate target could elude Democrats

As things stand, Republican Susan Collins could just hang on to her Senate seat in Maine.

It was a prime target as the Democrats hoped to flip the Senate, turning the race into the most expensive in the state’s history.

Sara Gideon, the Democrat heavily outspent the 23-year incumbent and, according to one estimate $120 million was shelled out on advertising.

Under Maine’s ranked choice voting system, a candidate must have the majority of the vote to be declared the winner, otherwise second preferences are taken into consideration.

With votes left to be counted Ms Collins, who distanced herself from Donald Trump, has just over 50 per cent of the vote which would see her through.

But a note of caution in 2018 Republican Bruce Poliquin topped the poll in a congressional race, but lost to Democrat Jared Golden when the second preferences were taken into acount.

01:33 PM

Demonstrators march on Washington

Demonstrators have been marching across Washington DC since the early hours of this morning.

So far predictions of civil unrest across the country have proved incorrect, with many protests remaining peaceful.

Demonstrators march during the 2020 Presidential election in Washington DC - Bloomberg
Demonstrators march during the 2020 Presidential election in Washington DC - Bloomberg
People watch results come in - Bloomberg
People watch results come in - Bloomberg
Demonstrators and police officers face off  - Bloomberg
Demonstrators and police officers face off - Bloomberg
People walk past the Reflecting Pool along the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial - Getty Images North America 
People walk past the Reflecting Pool along the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial - Getty Images North America

01:23 PM

Biden has learned lessons from the 2000 election

Joe Biden has learned lessons from the nail biter election result in Florida in the 2000 presidential election, Rozina Sabur writes from Miami. 

During the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore, the race hinged on a razor thin result in Florida, where balloting issues had caused confusion over the vote tallies.

Mr Gore initially conceded the race, before reversing course and launching a legal challenge. Mr Gore's premature concession lost him vital political capital, and Mr Biden is determined not to repeat the mistake.

Despite Donald Trump's early claims of victory in the election, the Biden campaign is refusing to take the bait and standing firm.

In a speech last night, Mr Biden said "We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election."

01:12 PM

Summary: what you need to know

November 3 has come and gone and we are yet to find out whether President Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won the White House.

Here is is everything you need to know today:

  • President Donald Trump carried the prized battleground of Florida, then he and Democrat Joe Biden shifted their focus to three Northern industrial states - Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania - that could prove crucial in determining who wins the White House.

  • As of yet, the state of Michigan is almost evenly divided between Mr Trump and Mr Biden, though votes are still being counted. Wisconsin appears to be leaning towards Mr Biden. 

  • According to the secretary of state in Nevada, no more voting results will be released until 11am EST on Thursday, meaning it is likely we will be waiting days for the outcome. 

  • Mr Trump said he will take the presidential election to the Supreme Court this morning as he declared victory despite votes still being counted.

  • The election is on its way to shattering the record for the highest voter turnout in history.

  • Their hopes fading for Senate control, Democrats had a disappointing election night as Republicans swatted down an onslaught of challengers and fought to retain their majority.

  • Democrats are driving toward extending their control of the House for two more years but with a potentially shrunken majority.

01:04 PM

How the world reported US Election night 2020

From Japan to Germany here's how TV networks around the world reported on the US' Presidential Election day.

12:50 PM

Michigan almost tied between candidates

The state of Michigan is almost evenly divided between Donald Trump and Joe Biden - raising the stakes in an already precarious election.

With 86 per cent of expected votes tallied, Mr Trump has 49.4 per cent, while Mr Biden has 48.9 per cent. 

The area containing Detroit, Wayne County, is still counting ballots. Turnout in the city is expected to exceed the total seen in 2008 for Barack Obama, potentially hitting 55 per cent. 

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said hundreds of thousands of ballots still needed to be counted. but that the state could post results soon. 

“We’re on track to have a much more complete picture, if not the vast majority of jurisdictions, reporting out by the end of today,” Ms Benson told CNN on Wednesday.

12:41 PM

What is the Electoral College?

In the US election, Americans vote for candidates called 'electors' in their state who are supporting the candidate they want to become president - this process is called the Electoral College.

The more people to live in a state, the more electors there are for that state. So, California for example, with a population of 38.8 million, has 55 votes - while Delaware, (pop. 936,000), has just three votes.

There are currently 538 electors in total, corresponding to the 435 Representatives (congressmen and women) and 100 Senators, plus the three additional electors from the District of Columbia. The Constitution prohibits any federal official, elected or appointed, from being an elector.

The candidate with the most electors wins all the state's electoral college votes and the first candidate to win enough states to get to 270 electoral votes is elected to that office.

Read more about the Electoral College process and what it means for the election here.

12:33 PM

Kanye West reassures fans he'll be back for 2024

Kanye West's push for the top job has ended - despite voting for himself in the election.

The rapper launched his presidential campaign back in July and is thought to have pumped $12 million USD of his own money into it. 

Kanye cast his vote yesterday, tweeting: "God is so good Smiling face with smiling eyes Today I am voting for the first time in my life for the President of the United States, and it's for someone I truly trust...me."

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Kim Kardashian, the rapper's wife, declined to say whether she had voted for Kanye as she posted on Instagram announcing her trip to the polls. 

According to reports, Kanye received 57,000 votes across the 12 states in which he appeared on the ballot. 

But fans need not worry: Kanye insists he will be back again in 2024. 

12:23 PM

France says US relations with EU won't change

The outcome of the presidential vote will have little impact on US-Europe trade relations, France's finance chief asserted Wednesday, saying Washington is unlikely to drop its confrontational stance whether Donald Trump wins or not.

"Let's not kid ourselves. The United States has not been a friendly partner to European states for several years now," Bruno Le Maire told Radio Classique.

"Whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump is elected by Americans tonight or tomorrow, nothing changes this strategic fact," he said. "The American continent has detached itself from the European continent."

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire - Ian Langsdon 
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire - Ian Langsdon

The US administration has inflicted billions of dollars' worth of tariffs on European imports over the past four years, with Trump claiming unfair barriers against American firms trying to compete on continental markets.

His administration has also targeted China, saying it too had caused the American trade deficit to plunge by blocking US goods even while exporting massively to the US.

"Fundamentally, the only shift in American thinking is with regards to China, their relations with China and Asia as a whole," Le Maire said.

"Europe is now merely an adjustment variable for the United States," he said. 

12:11 PM

No more Nevada results until Thursday

According to the secretary of state in Nevada, no more voting results will be released until 11am EST on Thursday.

These remaining votes include mail-in ballots received on Election Day yesterday, as well as those that will arrive over the next week and provisional ballots.

Currently, Joe Biden holds a slight lead in Nevada, which has been slowly leaning closer to blue thanks to demographic changes. 

President Trump narrowly lost the state in 2016 and has been working hard to turn it.

But for Mr Biden, the race might not be determined by Nevada if he can gain victories elsewhere. 

12:01 PM

Election on track to see highest voter turnout in history

The 2020 US presidential election is on its way to shattering the record for the highest voter turnout in history.

On election day, huge lines were seen forming outside of polling stations, adding to the 100 million Americans who had already voted early.

Earlier in the year, there were concerns that the coronavirus pandemic could keep people at home. But amid a heated and divisive presidential race, voters were keen to cast their ballots.

11:48 AM

Pennsylvania remains focal point

Our US correspondent Josie Ensor is on the ground in Pennsylvania:

Good morning from a chilly Pennsylvania, where all eyes are trained to see if the state will hand another victory to Donald Trump or help crown one of its own sons the next president of the United States.

The state and its 20 electoral college votes is crucial in the path to victory for both candidates, but a law that prevents Pennsylvania from counting votes until Election Day - and a huge mail-in ballot surge due in part to the coronavirus - has led to delays in returning a result.

Mr Trump, anticipating Pennsylvania becoming the kingmaker, has long been warning that there will be a bitter fight over which of the ballots gets counted. Joe Biden, the Pennsylvania-born Democratic challenger, said he was confident he could win here.

The mayor of Philadelphia — a city rocked by street protests last week after police shot dead a black man — appealed for “patience” and “calm”.

The quicker the count, which could take as long as three days, the less chance of things getting messy.

11:38 AM

With the US presidential race too close to call, what happens next?

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are neck and neck in the US presidential race, with the election on a knife-edge.

But Mr Trump has called it "a fraud on the American public", claiming the Republicans won the vote and that Democrats are trying to "steal the election".

In a monumental speech at the White House, Mr Trump disputed the results of the election – which are still unknown – as no president has before.

Mr Trump's incendiary words look set to put America on course for an almighty battle over the result of the election.

But what happens next? Read more here to find out. 

11:27 AM

In pictures: America awaits certainty

A view of the Oculus in New York illuminated in the colours of the US national flag  - SOPA Images 
A view of the Oculus in New York illuminated in the colours of the US national flag - SOPA Images
A democrat suppoter reacts during a viewing party, organized by Democrats Abroad, of the US election results at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand - Shutterstock
A democrat suppoter reacts during a viewing party, organized by Democrats Abroad, of the US election results at a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand - Shutterstock
Bywater neighbors watch the election results from Vaughan's Lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana - AFP
Bywater neighbors watch the election results from Vaughan's Lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana - AFP
A person in a giant President Donald Trump costume poses for picture with people - Getty Images North America 
A person in a giant President Donald Trump costume poses for picture with people - Getty Images North America
Election officials count absentee ballots in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Getty Images North America 
Election officials count absentee ballots in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Getty Images North America

11:13 AM

Seven key states yet to be called

Donald Trump claimed victories in several states from the White House this morning, saying, "Frankly, we did win this election" over Democrat Joe Biden.

But the president's assertion of victory does not match the results.

It takes 270 votes to win the presidential election: as of now, Mr Biden has 224 electoral votes while President Trump has 213. 

It is the morning of results day, and seven key states are yet to be called by forecasters, including:

  1. Alaska

  2. Georgia

  3. Michigan

  4. Nevada

  5. North Carolina

  6. Pennsylvania

  7. Wisconsin

We will update you with the result for these states as they come in. 

11:01 AM

Wisconsin results delayed by lack of printer ink

Over in Wisconsin, a key battleground state, the results of absentee ballots are currently delayed by a lack of printer ink.

An elections official had to return to City Hall to get more so the vote counting machines can do their job, according to the New York Times. 

Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee election commission collects the count from absentee ballots from a voting machine - Getty Images North America 
Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee election commission collects the count from absentee ballots from a voting machine - Getty Images North America

10:50 AM

Facebook and Twitter flag Trump posts

Facebook and Twitter have added warning labels to posts from Donald Trump declaring that his opponents are attempting to “steal” the election.

In two posts late into election night, Mr Trump claimed rules that allow postal ballots to arrive at voting centres after polls have closed amounted to election theft, and claimed to have secured “a big win” in Tuesday's vote.

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The two posts came shortly after Joe Biden had appeared in front of supporters and claimed to be confident about the results, and appeared to be an effort by Mr Trump to regain the initiative as the election remains too close to call with large numbers of votes still being counted in crucial states.

Read more about the social media battle here

10:41 AM

Who are Joe Biden's candidates for the presidential team?

If Joe Biden wins the White House, the Democratic presidential candidate's aides have privately hinted he plans to build the most diverse Cabinet in American history.

Mr Biden is fond of saying the government should "look like the country" it governs, and his team have suggested that several women and people of colour are in line for top posts under a Biden presidency. 

Given Mr Biden's age – he would be 78 by the time he took office – the Democrat is also under pressure to ensure a younger generation of rising political talent features in his government picks. 

Mr Biden has promised to be a president for all Americans, vowing to put an end to the country's deeply polarised society. With that in mind, some have suggested Mr Biden may also include moderate Republicans within his administration, particularly those who have endorsed him during the presidential campaign. 

But if he is to unite his party behind him, he may have to include leading progressive figures like Bernie Sanders within his administration, a move that could turn away moderate conservatives. 

With so many competing considerations, and the expectation of a historic Cabinet line-up, who is Mr Biden likely to appoint?

Read more here to find out the runners and riders for some of the key posts. 

10:30 AM

Philadelphia 'still counting' votes and 'won't stop'

A Philadelphia election official has told media that the votes in the state of Pennsylvania are still being counted and that the counting will not stop.

It comes after Donald Trump, without evidence, claimed an early victory before several swing states declared their vote.

The official admitted the delay was caused by the increased number of both in-person and mail-in votes they were dealing with.

Read more: Pennsylvania 2020 election results: Donald Trump claims he is winning state by 'tremendous amount'  

10:17 AM

Some key areas counting through the night

Nick Allen  in Delaware reports:

It’s 5am but they’re going to keep on counting in some critical places. In Philadelphia, the biggest city in Pennsylvania, they planned to push through, but would not be reporting results as they go along.

In a middle of the night tweet the state Governor Tom Wolf said: “I promised Pennsylvanians we would count every vote and that’s what we’re going to do.”

In Wisconsin some areas, including Milwaukee, also planned to keep on going. A small percentage of votes in Georgia had still to be counted, but counting was halted there last night.

Donald Trump is narrowly ahead but there could be a surprise turnaround when counting resumes later as many of the outstanding votes are in Atlanta, which is Democrat.  

10:07 AM

All eyes turn to Michigan and Wisconsin

The race to call a predicted winner in Michigan and Wisconsin appears to drawing closer the finish line. 

This year's election has come down to states colloquially known as the "blue wall" - an area Donald Trump wrestled from Hillary Clinton in 2016.

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Wisconsin and Michigan could be some of the first of these states to be called by observers. 

So far, Joe Biden could be pulling ahead in Wisconsin after the City of Milwaukee absentees come in.

"We're hoping that everything could be done within three hours," Milwaukee Country Elections Director Julietta Henry told CNN. 

09:54 AM

Race in Georgia too close to call

The race between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is too close to call, with outstanding ballots left to be counted in counties where Mr Biden has performed well, according to Associated Press. 

Mr Trump and Mr Biden are locked in a tight contest to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. 

Early Wednesday, Mr Trump prematurely claimed he carried Georgia - and several other states that remain too close to call.

"It's clear that we have won Georgia. We're up by 2.5 per cent, or 117,000 (votes) with only 7 per cent (of the vote) left" to count, Mr Trump said during an early morning appearance at the White House. 

But the race in Georgia is too close to call because an estimated 4 per cent of the vote still remains to be counted. 

That includes mailed ballots from two counties Mr Biden is winning: metro Atlanta's DeKalb County, as well as Chatham County, which is home to Savannah.

Several counties in the Atlanta area also stopped counting votes after running into technical difficulties.

09:45 AM

Everything you you need to know so far

The scenario many had feared has come true: November 3 has come and gone and we are yet to find out whether President Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Joe Biden has won the White House.

Here's the current state of play so far:

  • As it stands, Biden has won 238 electoral votes and Trump a maximum of 213, based on the states they have so far won.

  • President Trump has already claimed victory, saying he will go to the Supreme Court to get his way.

  • The Biden campaign joined numerous others in condemning Mr Trump's victory claim as 'outrageous'. 

  • Barack Obama's vice president was boosted by the addition of Arizona in the early hours of Wednesday morning - as the nominees try to eke their way to the magic number of 270 out of a total of 538.

  • Officials in many of the states have indicated how long it will take to count the ballots, with the situation complicated this year by the Covid-19 pandemic that has led to record mail-in voting.

  • Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin, have all indicated a final picture could emerge Wednesday, Pennsylvania has said it could take up to November 6, while in North Carolina mail ballots postmarked election day are accepted until November 12.

  • In an open letter to voters, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney asked citizens of Pennsylvania's biggest city to exercise "patience".

  • The specter of civil unrest has worried many voters but failed to materialise on Election Day itself.

09:35 AM

First debate moderator condemns Trump comments

The moderator of the first presidential debate has hit back at Donald Trump's election victory claims. 

Fox News' Chris Wallace reacted to Mr Trump’s speech by saying: “This is an extremely flammable situation and the president just threw a match into it. He hasn’t won these states.”

During the first debate in September Mr Wallace lost control at many points as discussions descended into shouting matches - usually led by the president. 

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News speaks as President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate - AFP
Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News speaks as President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate - AFP

Mr Trump and Joe Biden’s first presidential debate was dominated by bitter accusations and chaotic exchanges as in-depth policy discussions were largely sidelined in favour of personal insults and repeated talking over one another.

In a ferocious and combative performance, the US president repeatedly interrupted Mr Biden and clashed with Mr Wallace as he threw accusations at his rival.

09:26 AM

Slovenia's prime minister Janez Janša congratulates Trump

The prime minister of Slovenia, Janez Janša, congratulated Trump before the election result has been confirmed. 

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09:20 AM

Biden campaign condemns Trump's victory claim as 'outrageous'

Nick Allen  in Delaware reports:

Jen O'Malley Dillon, Mr Biden's campaign manager, has issued a response to Mr Trump saying he won the election.

She said: "The president’s statement tonight about trying to shut down the counting of duly cast ballots was outrageous, unprecedented, and incorrect.

"It was outrageous because it is a naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens."

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"It was unprecedented because never before in our history has a president sought to strip Americans of their voice in a national election.

"And it was incorrect because it will not happen. The counting will not stop. It will continue until every duly cast vote is counted. Because that is what our laws - the laws that protect every American's constitutional right to vote - require."

She said if Mr Trump did go to court the Biden campaign had legal teams standing ready and they "will prevail".

She added: "We remain confident that, when that process is completed, Joe Biden will be the next president."

09:11 AM

Dominic Raab confident in UK-US relationship whoever wins presidency

Dominic Raab has conceded there will be different "contours to the opportunities and the risks" for the UK-US relationship depending on who is in the White House.

Despite stressing he was "very confident the relationship will go from strength to strength," the Foreign Secretary said: "The contours of the opportunities and the risks always shift a little bit, but that needs to be set against the context of this bedrock and this wider set of interests which are so strong."

09:03 AM

Chris Christie says 'no basis' for Trump victory claim

Nick Allen reports:

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and friend of the president, said: "I disagree with what he did tonight."

He added: "There comes a point where you have to let the process play itself out before you judge it to have been flawed.

"I think it's a bad strategic decision, it's a bad political decision. And it's not the kind of decision you would expect someone to make tonight who holds the position he holds."

Mr Christie went on: "I speak tonight not as a former governor, but as a former US Attorney. There's just no basis to make that argument tonight. There just isn't.

"The argument won't even start in Pennsylvania until tomorrow, or Thursday or Friday."

08:54 AM

Trump begins fundraising for election results battle

Donald Trump has already begun raising new money for the coming battle over the election results, Laurence Dodds reports.

Emails sent by the President to his supporters call on them to "defend the results", preemptively describing any failure to declare a winner tonight as a sinister plot.

Emails sent by the President to his supporters 
Emails sent by the President to his supporters

"The Left will try to manipulate the results. I need your help to ensure we have a massive war chest to protect the integrity of this election," one says.

Democrats are likely to do the same soon enough. Asked about that possibility, Díaz-Martínez, a party official in Arizona's bellwether Maricopa County, said: "Yeah. I mean, if it comes to it, we will have to call on our supporters again, to join us."

08:47 AM

Democrats falling short in bid for control of US Senate

A Democratic drive to win control of the U.S. Senate appeared to fall short, with Democrats picking up only one Republican-held seat while six other races remained undecided early on Wednesday.

Democrats defeated Republican Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona but lost the Alabama seat held by Democratic Senator Doug Jones.

To win the majority in the Senate, Democrats would need to pick up three Republican seats if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is elected president and Senator Kamala Harris wields the tie-breaking vote as vice president.

But the Democratic path to victory narrowed sharply as results poured in and the final outcome may not be known for days, and in some cases, months.

Four Republican incumbents - Joni Ernst of Iowa, Steve Daines of Montana, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas - fended off Democratic challenges, according to networks and Edison Research.

Republicans also held onto an open seat in Kansas, where Republican Roger Marshall was declared the winner over Democrat Barbara Bollier.

Read more: US Senate election results 2020: What are the key races to watch, and why is it important?

08:37 AM

Americans nationwide react

As President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden continue to battle it out for the White House, supporters across the country have looked on as states are called. 

Supporters of US President Donald Trump celebrate as they watch Ohio being called for Donald Trump at a Republican watch party at Huron Vally Guns in New Hudson, Michigan - AFP
Supporters of US President Donald Trump celebrate as they watch Ohio being called for Donald Trump at a Republican watch party at Huron Vally Guns in New Hudson, Michigan - AFP
Supporters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, watch as election results are broadcast on a big screen in McPherson Square near the White House in Washington, DC - Shutterstock
Supporters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, watch as election results are broadcast on a big screen in McPherson Square near the White House in Washington, DC - Shutterstock
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden watch election results in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan  - AP
Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden watch election results in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan - AP
Onlookers in Bozeman, Montana  - Tommy Martino 
Onlookers in Bozeman, Montana - Tommy Martino

08:32 AM

Farage: Trump victory looks 'likely'

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said on Wednesday that it looked as if Donald Trump had won the election but it was not yet certain.

"Once again Trump does confound the pollsters and mainstream media - it looks like Trump has won but it is not certain," Mr Farage said. 

President Trump declared Nigel Farage a "friend for life" after he backed him to the hilt in the 2016 US Presidential Election, and his support is unwavering.

Speaking to Christopher Hope for The Telegraph's Trump Card podcast, Mr Farage said he's seeing "enthusiasm that I've never seen in any election before".

Read more here: President Biden would make a laughing stock of America, says Farage

08:22 AM

Pennsylvania governor calls Trump remarks 'partisan attack'

Pennsylvania's Democratic Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday called President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claim about fraud in the US presidential election a "partisan attack".

Mr Wolf added his state was working hard to count more than 1 million mail-in ballots.

"Let’s be clear: This is a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s elections, our votes, and democracy," Mr Wolf said in a tweet.

"Our counties are working tirelessly to process votes as quickly AND as accurately as possible. Pennsylvania will have a fair election and we will count every vote."

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08:19 AM

How many Pennsylvania mail-in ballots are there?

Nick Allen has been crunching the numbers:

Here's why Donald Trump wants the election frozen where it is.

According to the Pennsylvania elections website there are 1.4 million mail-in ballots that have not yet been counted. And 270,000 of those are in the Democrat bastion of Philadelphia.

With 74 per cent of the state's votes counted at this moment Donald Trump has 2,956,791 votes. Joe Biden has 2,283,656. That's a lead of 673,135.

That means Mr Biden would have to get about three quarters of the outstanding mail-in ballots to win.

But, because Democrats are much more likely to vote by post, that is entirely possible.

08:15 AM

Joe Biden wins Maine, reports AP

Democrat Joe Biden has won at least three of Maine's four electoral votes in his bid to unseat President Donald Trump, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Biden won the statewide tally and the 1st Congressional District, good for three electoral votes. Mr Trump, meanwhile, hoped to claim one electoral vote in a win in the 2nd Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District hasn't yet been called.

Maine split its electoral votes four years ago, awarding three to Democrat Hillary Clinton and one to Mr Trump, who won the more rural and conservative of Maine's congressional districts.

It marked the first time in state history that Maine divided its electoral votes.

Maine is one of only two states that divides its electoral votes. The other is Nebraska.

In the race to the 270 electoral votes needed to win, Mr Biden has 238 while Mr Trump has 213.

08:11 AM

What are the key swing states?

There has been a lot of talk about 'swing states' as results roll in from across the country - but what are they and why are they so important?

Swing states can shift between each election cycle, and they can be determined by looking at past results, opinion polls, political trends and any strengths or weaknesses of the candidates involved, and their policies.

There are seven states that everyone has their eyes on in this election, most evident from the money spent on advertising and travel in Trump and Biden's campaigns.

They include the three Rust Belt states that Mr Trump won in 2016: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. They were once considered the Blue Wall, but Mr Trump managed to turn them red in the last election. Retaining them is crucial to his re-election hopes.

Read more about this election's swing states here.

08:07 AM

What an Arizona victory could mean for Biden

If Joe Biden has indeed won Arizona, as the Associated Press have predicted, the path to victory could be a little bit cleared for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

The Grand Canyon state is traditionally Republican and if Biden manages to flip it he will be far less reliant on Pennsylvania - if he manages to win Wisconsin and and Michigan, that is. 

Republicans were outraged when Fox News called the state for Mr Biden earlier this morning, but the outlet doubled down on their call.

"I'm sorry, the president is not going to be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate that seven-point lead that the former vice-president has," desk director Arnon Mishkin said.

Arizona is among the more than half a dozen states that will help determine which candidate gets the 270 electoral votes to capture the White House,  and a potential victory by Biden is a huge blow to Mr Trump's chances for reelection.

07:58 AM

In pictures: Donald Trump declares victory

US President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking during election night in the East Room of the White House - AFP
US President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking during election night in the East Room of the White House - AFP
Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere takes away notes form the podium where U.S. President Donald Trump delivered remarks on election night - Getty Images North America 
Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere takes away notes form the podium where U.S. President Donald Trump delivered remarks on election night - Getty Images North America
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: (front to back) Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump appear - Getty Images North America 
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: (front to back) Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump appear - Getty Images North America
 President Donald Trump speaks on election night in the East Room of the White House as First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence look on - Getty Images North America 
President Donald Trump speaks on election night in the East Room of the White House as First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence look on - Getty Images North America

07:55 AM

Obama campaign manager says 'scary days' lie ahead for America

Nick Allen in Delaware reports:

David Plouffe, Barack Obama's former campaign manager, called Mr Trump's claim of victory "scary".

He said: "We've never seen anything like this in the history of our Republic. "Obviously, Trump doesn't want to go meekly into the night no matter what damage he does to our country.

It's one of the darkest moments in American history. It's a dangerous and dark moment.

"Event if Trump is successful, and I don't think he will be, you're going to have 45 per cent of the country believing him.

"It's startling, it's dark, it's scary. These are going to be dark and scary days, or weeks.

"That was super painful to watch as an American citizen. The sooner we get the votes counted the better."

07:54 AM

Joe Biden wins Arizona, says AP

Joe Biden has won Arizona, according to the Associated Press. 

07:36 AM

Analysis: unprecedented moment in US history

Although it was expected by observers that Donald Trump would sensationalise the election result, it will come as a shock to many just how brash his speech was.  

To call the election result from the White House before votes are counted is unprecedented. 

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Although it may end up that Mr Trump is elected, it will be down to the election process and not his early declaration of victory. 

Mr Trump has not yet won key states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as they remain too close to call.

The final result could still take days to transpire, thanks to mail-in voting - a process the president has repeatedly condemned. 

07:30 AM

BREAKING: Trump prematurely declares victory as he declares voting 'fraud'

Donald Trump, without evidence, has called the election a fraud on the American public as he declares victory before the election has been called. 

"We will win this. As far as I'm concerned we already have," he says. 

The president goes on to reveal he was preparing to declare a win earlier in the evening because he "was winning everything".

"All of a sudden it was just called off," he says.

“This is a fraud on the American public,” the president continues. “This is an embarrassment to our country.”

Mr Trump adds that he will be taking the result to the Supreme Court. 

"We want all voting to stop,” he says.

07:29 AM

Trump expresses confidence

Donald Trump is basking in his victories in key states, including Florida and Texas.

The president goes on to express his confidence in key states yet to be called.

"We're winning Pennsylvania by a tremendous amount of votes,” he says as the crowd, mainly neglecting to wear masks, cheered. 

“We’re up 690,000 votes in Pennsylvania. These aren’t even close. It’s not like oh these are close. With 64 per cent of the vote in.. 

“We’re winning Michigan.. I looked at the numbers and said wow that’s a lot. 65 per cent of the vote is in. We’re winning Wisconsin. I said we don’t need all of them.”

07:23 AM

Donald Trump live from White House

President Donald Trump is speaking live from the White House. 

“This is, without question, the latest news conference I’ve ever had,” the president joked as he began addressing the nation. 

"I want to thank the American public for their support," Mr Trump added. "We are getting ready for a big celebration... The results tonight have been phenomenal."

07:20 AM

South Carolina seat in US House flipped back to GOP

Republican Nancy Mace has defeated incumbent US Rep. Joe Cunningham, dealing a blow to the gains South Carolina Democrats made two years ago in the House of Representatives.

Ms Mace, a member of the state House, beat Mr Cunningham in a seat Republicans loudly announced they were determined to flip back days after the Democrat's win in 2018.

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She will be only the second woman to serve in the US House from South Carolina.

Ms Mace got support from President Donald Trump on Twitter and once worked on the president's campaign. But, while trying to link Mr Cunningham to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ms Mace stayed fairly quiet about Trump's support. Anger about the president helped Mr Cunningham make his bipartisan push to win in 2018.

Despite the win for the Republicans, Fox News is predicting a majority from the Democrats in the House. 

07:11 AM

Good morning!

Right. Much like ballot-counters in Pennsylvania, the future of American democracy is all too much for me and I’m off to bed. 

But a live blog of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth… at least until we know the result of this bloody thing. So I’ll leave you in the expert hands of Verity Bowman to bring you Mr Trump's speech and take you through this morning.

07:03 AM

Watch: Trump about to address Americans

The president is about to address the nation from the White House. You can watch his statement in the video above.

If, as expected, Donald Trump ramps up his rhetoric that the election has been stolen – and disputes the result as no president has ever done – this could be one of the most significant moments in American history.

06:50 AM

Unclear result 'dangerous' for global democracy, says David Miliband

A contested US presidential election will be "very damaging and dangerous" to the rest of the world, former foreign secretary David Miliband has said. 

The Labour politician-turned head of the International Rescue Committee told the BBC that the "resounding defeat [of Donald Trump] would have sent an important signal" to populist leaders in other countries, but over the next 10-20 years, the world would have to "bake in the prospect of unpredictability" if he went onto win.  

"There isn't going to be a return to the status quo... you are baking in unpredictability and that has quite severe consequences for the way the world looks over the next generation". 

Follow the latest in our UK politics live blog

06:38 AM

Election 'much close than expected'

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are neck and neck in the US presidential race, Ben Riley-Smith and Nick Allen report, with the election turning out to be much closer than expected amid fears the result may not be known for days.

Hopes of a landslide for Mr Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, evaporated within hours of polls closing on the East Coast as Mr Trump held firm in the South.

With millions of votes still to count the result hangs in the balance, with focus increasingly turning to the Midwest – the part of the country Mr Trump flipped to win the White House in 2016.

Read more: Election result may not be known until Friday

06:33 AM

Fox calls Nebraska's 2nd district for Biden

This could be significant. Fox News is calling Nebraska's 2nd district for Joe Biden, which means the Democrat could win the race to the White House without having to win Pennsylvania.

It's only one electoral college vote, but as US statistician Nate Silver says, it is vitally important:

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06:29 AM

Polls close in 2020 election

The last state to close its polls is Alaska, drawing to a close the monumental democratic endeavour that is gathering the votes of almost an entire continental landmass.

The state, a Republican stronghold, shuts its polling stations at 9pm local time, five hours after the sun has gone down and where, in the state capital of Juneau, temperatures are about to dip below freezing.

06:22 AM

Squeaky bum time

Donald Trump's projected Texas win takes the scores to Biden 223, Trump 212. How are you calling this one? Tell us in the comments below.

06:19 AM

TRUMP WINS TEXAS

Democrats had hoped for an unlikely win in Texas - but no dice. Donald Trump has won the Lone Star State, winning a sumptious 38 electoral college votes.

06:16 AM

Just joining us?

First of all, did you bring me a coffee?

Secondly, here are the key battlegrounds - the swing states - that will decide the US election, and what we know so far.

As things stand, Donald Trump is ahead in seven of these:

  • Arizona - 73 per cent reported, Biden lead (8.5 per cent)

  • Florida - 98 per cent reported, Trump lead (3.5 per cent)

  • Georgia - 67 per cent reported, Trump lead (9.8 per cent)

  • Michigan - 43 per cent reported, Trump lead (11.5 per cent)

  • Minnesota - 54 per cent reported, Biden lead (14.8 per cent)

  • North Carolina - 92 per cent reported, Trump lead (1 per cent)

  • Pennsylvania - 46 per cent reported, Trump lead (13.2 per cent)

  • Texas - 74 per cent reported, Trump lead (4.5 per cent)

  • Wisconsin - 59 per cent reported, Trump lead (4.1 per cent)

Who has won what?

Donald Trump has won: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Joe Biden has won: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Here are the live results:

06:11 AM

Democrats confident of vital Arizona win

Joe Biden's announcement that he believed he had won Arizona raised cheers in the Democratic Party's Maricopa County base camp, reports Laurence Dodds.

Mr Biden's claim came on top of a surprising call in his favour by the right-leaning Fox News, which is said to have provoked the ire of Mr Trump's campaign.

That prediction had rattled some guests at the Arizona Republican Party's election night event, where state chairwoman Kelli Ward told supporters that she was "confident we are winning this state".

Even so, the votes are still being counted and Mr Trump may yet see new strength from on-the-day votes, especially in Arizona's rural outback. 

Nobody here will stop worrying until AP calls the race. Then again, in 2018, it did mistakenly call Arizona's other Senate seat for the GOP.

It looks set to be a disappointing night for Arizona's Republicans - AP
It looks set to be a disappointing night for Arizona's Republicans - AP

06:06 AM

Things look good in Arizona for Biden

Joe Biden is already celebrating his strong performance in Arizona. 

The Grand Canyon state is traditionally Republican but for Democrats the early results are looking good – which doesn't mean much. Early votes, counted ahead of time, were always going to skew blue.

Fox News has projected Biden will win Arizona, giving him a potential path to victory with the "blue wall" states.

Read more: Democrats hopeful in Arizona

Trump supporters in Arizona are beginning to fear the worst - GETTY IMAGES
Trump supporters in Arizona are beginning to fear the worst - GETTY IMAGES

05:53 AM

Tim Stanley analysis: Trump has had a good night

Donald Trump has defied the pollsters and had a brilliant night, says Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley:

05:49 AM

Trump: 'They're trying to steal the election'

Moments after Joe Biden's brief speech, Donald Trump has  tweeted, saying the Democrats are "trying to steal the election".

“We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Poles are closed!” Mr Trump said.

But Twitter almost immediately censored the tweet, labelling it as "misleading".

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05:46 AM

Biden: 'It ain't over until every vote is counted'

Nick Allen in Delaware reports:

Joe Biden addressed hundreds of supporters in cars from a specially built stage in Wilmington. Amid honking horns he said: "Your patience is commendable. We knew this was going to go long.

"We feel good about where we are. We believe we're on track to win this election.

"We knew because of the early vote, and mail-in vote, it would take a while. We're going to have to be patient.

"It ain't over until every vote is counted but we're feeling good about where we are.

"We're confident about Arizona. That's a turnaround. We're feeling real good about Wisconsin and Michigan.

"It's going to take time to count the votes but were going to win Pennsylvania!"

He added: "We could know the results as early as tomorrow morning, but it could take a little longer.

"It's not my place or Donald Trump's place to declare who's won this election. That's the decision of the American people. I'm optimistic about the outcome.

"Keep the faith guys, we're going to win this." 

Biden told supporters: "Keep the faith, guys. We’re going to win this" - AP
Biden told supporters: "Keep the faith, guys. We’re going to win this" - AP

05:43 AM

Biden speaking now...

Watch his speech in the video above.

05:41 AM

Where does it stand?

After a couple of big wins for Trump, here is the list of states each candidate has won:

Donald Trump has won: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Joe Biden has won: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Here are all the results we have so far:

05:38 AM

TRUMP WINS FLORIDA

This is another huge moment. Trump's only route to victory was through Florida and that's what he's done - winning the state's 29 electoral votes.

05:35 AM

A pipe dream for Democrats in Texas

Democrats have hung up their boots in Texas, Margi Murphy reports

It has been decades since Texas was a battleground. The last Democrat president to win the state was Jimmy Carter, in 1979. 

And this year, it looks like little has changed. Political data from Decision Desk HQ projects Trump to win Texas with Fox News calling a Republican defeat. 

There had been speculation that Texas was emerging as the newest battleground state. The Biden campaign sent Kamala Harris down to competitive counties in a last ditch attempt to muster voters. But the beat was narrow, suggesting that the state could swing in years to come. 

Early voter turnout in the state was 9.7 million, more than the total number who voted in 2016. Texas has historically had one of the lowest turnout rates in the country.

Republican party chairman Allen West, who is celebrating the early call in an office block in Austin, the state capital, thanked volunteers who had steered Texas out of "the radical progressive socialist left". 

Democrats in Texas look set to be disappointed again - EPA
Democrats in Texas look set to be disappointed again - EPA

05:31 AM

TRUMP WINS IOWA

More good news for the president as AP calls Iowa for the Republicans, winning them six college votes.

05:29 AM

Watch: Clashes erupt outside White House

05:26 AM

TRUMP WINS OHIO

This is big. The first crucial swing state has been called and it goes to Donald Trump. Ohio earns the president a huge 18 electoral college votes.

05:24 AM

Breaking: Biden to address the nation

Joe Biden is expected to address the nation in a few minutes - and you can watch his message in the video at the top of the blog. 

With the result still too close to call, Mr Biden is set to urge patience while all the votes are counted.

05:22 AM

Goodnight from Pennsylvania

Wisconsin says they will not be announcing its result tonight, neither will Pennsylvania, Josie Ensor reports. 

Michigan says theirs might not come until Friday. And with that Josie bids readers adieu from Philadelphia, which could be the kingmaker in the morning. She'll bring you more on the crucial count when it restarts in Pennsylvania in a few hours.

And Pennsylvania's attorney-general has told citizens to go to bed:

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05:18 AM

BIDEN WINS MINNESOTA

More good news for the Democrats - for now. AP has called Minnesota and its 10 electoral collage votes for the Democrat candidate.

05:13 AM

BIDEN WINS HAWAII

Polls have only just closed in Hawaii but AP are calling the island state for Joe Biden, winning him four electoral college votes.

04:55 AM

Fox declares Ohio for Trump

Fox News is calling Ohio - a vital swing state - for Donald Trump. The US network has also called Florida for the president and Arizona for Joe Biden.

A win in Ohio, which voted for him in 2016 but for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, would earn Mr Trump 18 delicious electoral college votes.

The BBC is also calling Ohio for Mr Trump.

04:54 AM

State of play

Just joining us? Here is the list of who has won what, according to predictions in the US media.

Donald Trump has won: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Joe Biden has won: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Biden leads the president by 209 votes to 118 in the electoral college battle.

Here's what it looks like on the map:

04:42 AM

AOC wins big

New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez comfortably secured a second term in Congress on Tuesday with an expected win over her Republican challenger.

John Cummings, 60, hoped fundraising from conservative donors nationwide could propel him past one of the left's most popular stars, but the former police officer and high school teacher was no match for the charismatic 31-year-old representative of parts of the Bronx and Queens.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic socialist, raised more than $17 million for her second congressional campaign, making it the second most expensive House race in the country even though her primary win all but guaranteed her House seat was safe.

With 65 per cent reporting, the congresswoman known as AOC led Mr Cummings by 38 points, according to The New York Times. In 2018 she won the seat by nearly 80 percent.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the American left's biggest stars - AP
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the American left's biggest stars - AP

04:36 AM

Jangling nerves in the Biden camp

Nick Allen reports from Delaware: Joe Biden is celebrating his strong performance in Arizona. But things are looking less promising elsewhere.

Donald Trump is 13 points up in Pennsylvania with 46 per cent of the state reporting. Mr Trump is up 11 points in Michigan, with 44 per cent reporting. 

And in Wisconsin the president is up four points with 53 per cent of the vote in. In Georgia Mr Trump's lead is 10 points with 67 per cent reporting. Mr Trump is also up three points in Virginia with 63 per cent reporting.

That's not great reading for the Biden camp. But the impact of states counting early votes in different ways is impossible to fully quantify at the moment.

Residents of Washington DC wait for news near the White House - GETTY IMAGES
Residents of Washington DC wait for news near the White House - GETTY IMAGES

04:34 AM

Unrest outside the White House

The night of the US presidential election has been marred by trouble near the White House which saw two men detained and three arrests made.

Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at the Black Lives Matter Plaza, a two-block section of Downtown Washington which was renamed in June following the death of George Floyd.

It was unclear why two men were being held outside the Labourers' International Union building, as officers formed a barrier between them and the gathered crowds.

Crowds chanted "no justice, no police" and some kicked police bicycles before the officers escorted the detained men out through the barrier. Two arrests were made following an assault incident, according to police in DC.

Read more: Angry clashes outside the White House

A Trump supporter tries to run from demonstrators at Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House on election day in Washington, DC on November 3, 2020 - GETTY IMAGES
A Trump supporter tries to run from demonstrators at Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House on election day in Washington, DC on November 3, 2020 - GETTY IMAGES

04:31 AM

Arizona set to legalise cannabis

Arizona appears to have voted to legalise cannabis, joining other western states such as California, Washington and Nevada, Laurence Dodds reports.

While Arizonans await more decisive numbers in national races - and with some still waiting in line - AP has called the state's marijuana referendum for Yes.

The new law would set up a licensing system for legal weed vendors, allowing sales as soon as March. Those convicted under the old laws would be given the chance to expunge their records.

For national Democrats, the early results are strong – which doesn't mean much. Early votes, counted ahead of time, were always going to skew blue.

Imagine a football match where one team dominates the first half, but then loses energy in the second. The question then is whether that early lead was big enough to withstand erosion.

Phoenix, Arizona. The state looks set to legalise cannabis - REUTERS
Phoenix, Arizona. The state looks set to legalise cannabis - REUTERS

04:28 AM

West Coast sweep for Biden

Polls have now closed across the West coast states of California, Oregon and Washington, which have all immediately been declared for Joe Biden, James Titcomb writes.

With 55 electoral votes, California - America’s most populous state - is the biggest prize on the map, but has not been remotely close since 1988, when George Bush Sr won the state.

A question that has captured more attention is whether Biden might win by a historic margin. More than 35 points would beat the margin by which Franklin Delano Roosevelt won in 1936 and be the largest ever margin for a Democrat.

If that happens, and Biden does not win the presidency, it could well resurrect the somewhat dormant “Calexit” campaign, which calls for secession of what would be the world’s fifth-largest economy.

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04:25 AM

Trump: 'Losing is never easy - for me'

On Tuesday Donald Trump predicted a “tremendous” night while visiting his campaign headquarters but the president also struck a note of caution: “Winning is easy, losing is never easy. Not for me it’s not.”

Watch him speaking to supporters earlier on Election Day:

04:21 AM

TRUMP WINS IDAHO

Donald Trump has bagged Idaho and its four electoral votes, according to US media.

04:20 AM

BIDEN WINS CALIFORNIA, OREGON, WASHINGTON

Asking if the Democrats will win California is a bit like wondering if bears do whoopsies in wooded areas and, indeed, AP are calling the massive state for Joe Biden, earning him a whopping 55 electoral college votes as expected.

US media are also reporting that Mr Biden has won Oregon and Washington.

That takes Mr Biden up to 209 electoral college votes, which might settle the nerves of a few Democrats.

04:17 AM

Analysis: What the hell is going on?

Ben Riley-Smith, US Editor, unpacks where we are as we hit 11pm in Washington DC:

This time yesterday Democrats were whispering about a Joe Biden landslide. A sweep of the South, an early Florida win, a five-seat majority in the US Senate. 

Where things stand - which, we should stress, is still very early in the night - that is not on the cards. It looks like the race is tight and the result could hang in the balance for a while. 

Mr Trump looks locked in for Florida, even though it is not called yet. He is ahead in Georgia and North Carolina, two other Southern states Mr Biden had real hopes of taking. 

There is still a fascinating battle out west to watch: Arizona and Nevada. The Republicans hold the first, the Democrats hold the second. Both parties hope to win the brace tonight. 

Anti-Trump protesters in Seattle, Washington, which is expected to be called for the Democrats - GETTY IMAGES
Anti-Trump protesters in Seattle, Washington, which is expected to be called for the Democrats - GETTY IMAGES

And then we are back to the Midwest. This was the heart of the Trump revolution, the so-called Rust Belt states which are (confusingly) in the northeast of America. Mr Trump flipped Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan in 2016. It was his success with disaffected Democratic voters there that effectively won him the White House. These are the states where the race could be decided. 

But the catch: we may not know the result this evening. Those states do not count mail-in ballots until election day. Other states have been counting them for weeks. 

There is a lot of counting to be done but the hopes of a Biden landslide, though, are fading fast. 

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04:08 AM

Republicans boost Senate hopes with high-profile wins

Republican heavyweight senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have both survived extremely well-funded challengers in Kentucky and South Carolina, in a major blow to the Democrats’ chances of regaining control of the Senate, Josie Ensor reports.

Both incumbents appear to have been rewarded for their loyalty to the Trump administration in Tuesday night’s early election results.

Republicans were on course to hold onto the Senate, however, Democrats have more than one route to secure the three or four seats needed to capture the majority.

Lindsey Graham toasted his victory with supporters in South Carolina - GETTY IMAGES
Lindsey Graham toasted his victory with supporters in South Carolina - GETTY IMAGES

Mr Graham, 65, was in the fight of his political life against Democrat Jamie Harrison, whose campaign stunned Washington by drawing more than $100 million in small-scale donations - more money than any candidate for the Senate in US history.

Mr Graham’s victory came just weeks after he shepherded Donald Trump’s nomination of appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, fended off Democrat Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot in a costly campaign, but he acknowledged his GOP colleagues face tougher races.

Mitch McConnell said his re-election was proof that Kentucky had rejected socialism - BLOOMBERG
Mitch McConnell said his re-election was proof that Kentucky had rejected socialism - BLOOMBERG

04:04 AM

Sign up to the Telegraph’s election night WhatsApp group

The Telegraph's US election night WhatsApp group will give you a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the 2020 US election while providing you with the latest updates throughout night.

Sign up here

Donald Trump or Joe Biden? Who will triumph in the 2020 US election? 
Donald Trump or Joe Biden? Who will triumph in the 2020 US election?

04:00 AM

West coast polls close

Voting booths have now shut in California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington. Stand by for exit polls...

03:58 AM

Huge betting market shift to Trump

There has been a major shift in the betting markets, reports Nick Allen

On PredictIt, the political online betting market, punters currently give Donald Trump about a 66 per cent chance of victory. They give Mr Biden about a one in three chance.

Those positions have reversed since the start of the night. It suggests large amounts of money are being placed on Mr Trump.

03:54 AM

Democrats to strengthen grip on House

Democrats have retained control of the House of Representatives expected, US networks are reporting, expanding their majority in the 435-seat chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isexpected to increase her party's majority by at least four or five seats in the election, according to Fox News and NBC News.

The result would be a big boost to Ms Pelosi who wants to roll back several of Donald Trump's first-term orders or actions if he loses the election.

03:50 AM

"Viva Trump!"

The mood is jubilant at a Trump volunteers party at Rancho Mateo, a Colombian steakhouse in Miami, Rozina Sabur writes

Over margaritas the crowd, the majority of whom are Spanish speakers, cheer as Fox News shows Donald Trump's gains with Hispanic voters in the city. 

Many here say they are fed up of being branded "racists" for their support of the president. 

"He's done a lot for minority communities," says Ingrid Trigo de Serrano, a 32-year-old import broker. "The Democratic Party just automatically assumed that they were going to get that vote. They constantly promise and it's just broken promises. 

"It's enough to get people emotionally rallied but once they've got your vote they don't fulfil those promises. You can't just vote based on emotions if you're not seeing results."

People react as they watch a broadcast of Fox News showing presidential election returns at an election night watch party organized by group "Villagers for Trump" in The Villages, Florida, on November 3, 2020 - GETTY IMAGES
People react as they watch a broadcast of Fox News showing presidential election returns at an election night watch party organized by group "Villagers for Trump" in The Villages, Florida, on November 3, 2020 - GETTY IMAGES
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03:40 AM

Scores on the doors

Here's where we are. 

Biden leads Trump in the electoral college by 131 to 108.

States that have been called so far have gone largely as predicted.

Donald Trump has won: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Joe Biden has won: Delaware, District of Columbia, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.

But now we eagerly await news from the important swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Texas.

Trump supporters wait for news in Miami, Florida - GETTY IMAGES
Trump supporters wait for news in Miami, Florida - GETTY IMAGES

03:35 AM

TRUMP WINS MISSOURI

AP are calling Missouri for Donald Trump, winning him 10 electoral college votes. No need to panic for the Democrats – the state has not been blue since 1996.

03:20 AM

Georgia polls don't look good for Biden

In Georgia, where 54 per cent of the vote is in, Donald Trump leads his opponent by 13 points.

Pollsters had Joe Biden as favourite in the southern state.

But there's a long way to go...

03:18 AM

Why does middle America support Trump?

Votes in middle America and among the US middle classes are crucial in this election. Here, Telegraph writers explain Donald Trump's unique appeal to "forgotten" Americans:

03:12 AM

Trump set to win Florida

This could be massive.

Donald Trump appears on track to win the big prize of Florida in early results after gigantic voter turnout.

Florida is widely considered a must-win for Mr Trump to retain the presidency, but opinion polls had shown Mr Biden edging even or ahead, offering the Democrat the tantalising prospect of knocking his opponent out at the start of counting.

Seen by voting experts as a crucial state for the US president in his quest for the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency, Mr Trump was leading Biden 50.5 per cent to 48.5 per cent based on about 90 per cent of the estimated total votes.

Read more: Trump poised to take big win in Florida

A Trump supporter in The Villages, Florida, where the president looks set to score a big victory - GETTY IMAGES
A Trump supporter in The Villages, Florida, where the president looks set to score a big victory - GETTY IMAGES

03:07 AM

TRUMP WINS KANSAS

Donald Trump has claimed Kansas and its six electoral votes, the AP has declared.

03:05 AM

Markets wobble as Trump gains ground

The markets are getting edgy at the prospect of a Donald Trump victory after earlier reacting positively to Joe Biden's results.

S&P 500 futures have dipped into negative territory, reversing an earlier climb of 1pc.

Investor confidence over an early election decision and a Democratic victory - which had boosted markets - has waned. 

Mr Trump's performance in the polls is exceeding expectations, particularly during early counting in the bellwether state of Florida.

Follow live updates of the markets in our through-the-night blog

Currency traders in Tokyo were glued to their TVs this morning - EPA
Currency traders in Tokyo were glued to their TVs this morning - EPA

02:58 AM

Clashes in Washington DC

Anti-Trump protesters have clashed with supporters of the president outside the White House.

Demonstrators have gathered on Black Lives Matter Plaza in the centre of the city where they have been confronted by Trump supporters.

On Monday, White House security staff put up an 8ft fence around the complex.

Black Lives Matter supporters, left, clash with Trump supporters, obscured, after being taunted by the Trump supporters Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington - AP
Black Lives Matter supporters, left, clash with Trump supporters, obscured, after being taunted by the Trump supporters Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Washington - AP
An anti-Trump protester on Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC - REX
An anti-Trump protester on Black Lives Matter Plaza in DC - REX

02:54 AM

BIDEN WINS COLORADO

Joe Biden has claimed Colorado, according to US media projections, earning himself nine juicy electoral college votes.

02:52 AM

Tim Stanley: Florida undermining Democrat race argument

Telegraph columnist Tim Stanley says a Donald Trump win in Florida would show how the Democrat narrative on race is shallow:

If the exit polls are to be believed – and that's a big if – then there has been a significant rise in Latino support for the President, enough to make the difference in Florida. Clinton won Hispanics in Florida by 27 points; Biden by just 8. Clinton won Hispanics by 40 points in Georgia, Biden by 25. In North Carolina, Clinton's margin was 42 points, vs Biden's 24. If this were replicated in the West, it could put Arizona in play, even Nevada – compensating for whatever Trump loses in the rust-belt (though probably not by enough).

What an ironic twist it would be if Hispanics kept Trump competitive tonight. Especially given that ever since he first announced his campaign for the presidency we've been told he's a racist who hates Mexicans. Perhaps there's greater depths to the Trump narrative than liberals care to admit.

Read more: Tim Stanley: Hispanic surge for Trump would show how ethnic minorities don't like being pigeon-holed

02:33 AM

BIDEN WINS DC

As expected, Joe Biden has won the District of Columbia and its three electoral votes, according to US media.

02:31 AM

Analysis: Losing in Florida not the end for Biden

Ben Riley-Smith, US Editor in Washington DC, has this on Florida: 

If Florida goes for Donald Trump - and it looks likely that it will right now - it is by no means over for Joe Biden.

The US president has to hold a load of other states that he won in 2016 which Mr Biden has been competitive in to say the least in polls. There is Georgia and Texas, the traditionally redder than red states which Mr Biden has been polling neck-and-neck with the president in. There is Ohio, which Mr Trump won comfortably in 2016 and was considered further out for the Democrat than other battlegrounds but on the early count is looking close. There is also North Carolina, another southern state, and Arizona out in the West. Mr Trump won both four years ago, Mr Biden was ahead in both in polling going into today. 

The president realistically needs a clean sweep, or something close to it, of the above before we even get to the hat-trick of crucial Midwest states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan. Those three are expected to be called later this week given they do not start counting mail-in votes until on election day. (Other states can open early votes and count them when they arrive.)

Which is a very long way of saying Florida is not the be all and end all for Mr Biden.

New Yorkers are waiting for results in Times Square - GETTY IMAGES
New Yorkers are waiting for results in Times Square - GETTY IMAGES

02:27 AM

Hispanic vote 'will be high in Arizona'

Polls have closed in Arizona, and the result may hinge on how successfully the Democrats have turned out Hispanic voters, reports Laurence Dodds.

Imelda Ojeda, Latinx outreach coordinator for the local Democratic Party, says she is confident based on the sheer number of Spanish speakers who broke a long habit of not voting today. (Her title uses the gender neutral version of the word “Latino”.)

But that, she says, is the result of ten years of organising following the controversy over punishing immigration enforcement laws passed here in 2010.

“Latinos who were children back then saw the devastation that had on their families. Now they can vote, and they have been bringing their friends.”

However, Hispanics are not uniform Democratic voters in Arizona, with about a third leaning to Donald Trump. Many Hispanic men especially see him as a model for entrepreneurship and business success. 

The last few voters trickle through the doors at a polling station in Marana, Arizona - REUTERS
The last few voters trickle through the doors at a polling station in Marana, Arizona - REUTERS

02:23 AM

BIDEN WINS NEW YORK AND NEW MEXICO

The US media is reporting that Joe Biden has won the states of New York and New Mexico.

02:22 AM

TRUMP WINS NORTH DAKOTA... and a few more red states

Donald Trump has won North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana and Nebraska, according to AP.

02:20 AM

Biden’s poor show with Florida Hispanics was expected

Democrats in Miami are unsurprised by Mr Biden’s poor performance in the city, Rozina Sabur writes.   

David Duckenfild, who ran Barack Obama’s Hispanic outreach during the former president’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, said it has been clear to operatives in the city for some that Mr Biden had failed to do enough among Latino communities. 

Mr Duckenfild said the Republican attacks on Mr Biden as a radical socialist had proved highly effective. 

“I don’t think his campaign was quick enough to disassociate himself with that label. And that really hurt him with Hispanics,” he told The Telegraph.  “He should have done more to define his principles and ideals and not be defined by the other side.”

However Mr Duckenfild said he was still “very confident” Mr Biden would win the presidency.

At a watch party in the city, Andres Pietro, a social media influencer, said the poor Hispanic results for Mr Biden in Florida did not reflect his standing with the community elsewhere in the country. 

“I think in general the Hispanic community is really supporting Joe Biden,” he said, adding that it was “expected that (Trump) would win Florida.”

A nervous-looking Democrat supporter at a watch party in Miami - GETTY IMAGES
A nervous-looking Democrat supporter at a watch party in Miami - GETTY IMAGES

02:16 AM

Pennsylvania Governor urges calm as eyes turn to crucial swing state

With Florida leaning heavily towards Mr Trump, with more than 90 per cent of the vote counted, eyes turn to Pennsylvania, Josie Ensor reports from Philadelphia.

The swing state, with 20 electoral votes, is one both candidates have campaigned in aggressively. Pennsylvania is unlikely to report today, or possibly even tomorrow, after a Supreme Court ruling allowed election officials three days to count ballots.

The National Guard has been sent into Philadelphia, anticipating possible violence as the state waits for its result.

Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Governor, in a press conference just now, urged the public to remain calm and stay patient while results come in. "We may not know the results today." The Democrat also said he's committed to fighting "every effort to disrupt the vote count."

"Just like in 1776, our nation is calling on us to help set the course for the future," he said.

Read more: Why Pennsylvania is so important in the 2020 election

02:15 AM

Rosa Prince: Biden camp will be nervous about Florida rumours

It's all about the Sunshine State isn’t it? says Rosa Prince.

Florida teeters in the balance tonight as the state which delivered the White House to Donald Trump in 2016 maintains its status as one of the most crucial electoral battlegrounds. 

So far we know that the race is close – far too close for the Democrats who enjoyed a big opinion poll lead going into the election. 

If Mr Biden does squander Florida’s 29 electoral college votes, and, as a result, the election, the inquest will focus on one county – Miami Dade – which Secretary Clinton won comfortably last time out.

Read more: Rosa Prince: These results are far too close for comfort for Joe Biden

02:05 AM

In pictures: The mammoth task of counting

Chester County in Pennsylvania - AP
Chester County in Pennsylvania - AP
Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia - REUTERS
Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia - REUTERS
Multnomah County on Portland, Oregon - AP
Multnomah County on Portland, Oregon - AP

02:02 AM

14 more states close polls

It's 9pm on the US east coast and some important states – including Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin – are set to post projections soon...

01:49 AM

Republicans poised to challenge result in Texas

Republicans in Texas may be gearing up to challenge the state's results, Margi Murphy reports from Austin. 

Speaking at a press conference at the Republican Party headquarters in the state capital as the polls closed, chairman Allen West said that he would continue to question the "discrepancies in the machines" at drive-through centres that were erected to provide non-contact early voting. 

A group of Republicans has already tried, unsuccessfully, to get 127,000 votes thrown out. Mr West's comments suggest that Republicans will continue to legally challenge mail-in votes in Texas, as well as across the country. 

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01:38 AM

Trump campaign declares victory in Florida

The Trump campaign has declared victory in Florida, Nick Allen reports.

Mr Trump had won the state by one percentage point over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and the battle with Joe Biden is close.

Polls have suggested Mr Trump would perform better than before among Hispanic voters in Miami-Dade County.

Read more: Why winning Florida is so crucial

Electoral workers are hard at work counting votes in Florida - GETTY IMAGES
Electoral workers are hard at work counting votes in Florida - GETTY IMAGES

01:37 AM

A quick tally

Right, here's where we are according to projections.

Donald Trump has won: Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana.

Joe Biden has won: Vermont, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware, Virginia and Connecticut.

But as the Radiohead song goes... no alarms and no surprises.

01:34 AM

TRUMP WINS ARKANSAS

President Trump has pocketed six more electoral votes with a projected victory in Arkansas, according to US media.

The Natural State has voted Republican in every election since Bill Clinton in 1996.

01:28 AM

Conspiracy theorist wins House seat

A Georgia woman who has promoted the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory has won a seat in the US House of Representatives.

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had never run for office before, was projected to win her race for US House District 14, two months after President Donald Trump hailed her as a "future Republican star".

But her promotion of QAnon - a far-right movement claiming that Trump is waging a secret war against a global liberal cult of Satan-worshipping paedophiles - has raised eyebrows.

"BIG WIN TONIGHT!" the 46-year-old said on Twitter after she took a commanding lead over her Democratic rival in the safely Republican district. "THANK YOU to the people of NW Georgia for choosing me to fight for them in Washington, DC!"

Ms Greene has been elected to the House - REUTERS
Ms Greene has been elected to the House - REUTERS

Read more: From the darkest corners of the internet, QAnon reaches the White House 

01:16 AM

Mitch McConnell is re-elected

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, has been re-elected, according to AP.

Polls suggest Mr McConnell has seen off the challenge of Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky.

But it remains to be seen what kind of job Mr Connell will be going back to in January if the Democrats flip the Senate.

Addressing supporters, he said: "Kentucky wants more of the policies that built the best economy in modern history – not socialism. This is no time to declare war on our institutions because one side is angry."

Mitch McConnell won as expected, despite an ambitious campaign by his opponent - AP
Mitch McConnell won as expected, despite an ambitious campaign by his opponent - AP

01:13 AM

Live map - every state, every vote

You can follow updates of the latest projections on our cracking map:

01:11 AM

TRUMP WINS... LOADS OF STATES TOO

Donald Trump has won the states of Oklahoma, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. It takes the electoral college scores up to Biden 85, Trump 55, with the Democrat leading for the first time in the night.

01:10 AM

BIDEN WINS... LOADS OF STATES!

Joe Biden has won seven states, including Delaware, his home state.

AP says the Democratic nominee has also won, as expected, in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut.

01:08 AM

Biden has narrow lead in early Florida results

Rozina Sabur in Miami writes: At a Democratic watch party in Miami, Joe Biden supporters dropped to the floor in delight when early projections showed Mr Biden enjoying an initial lead in the Sunshine State. Early returns showed Mr Biden with a two per cent advantage, but there are a significant number of ballots yet to be counted. In Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in the state, with more than 80 per cent of the votes counted, Mr Biden appears to be leading Mr Trump 54 per cent to 45 per cent, according to NBC.

However, that is far short of the huge margin Mr Biden had hoped for here to counteract the gains Mr Trump is likely to have elsewhere in the state.  Miami is a heavily Democratic city but Mr Trump had hoped to eat into Mr Biden's majority here by increasing his support with the area's large Hispanic community. Early indicators are that Mr Trump has done just that, particularly in the city's majority Cuban-American communities.

Mr Trump is also doing much better in majority African American areas than he did in 2016.  Mr Biden is doing better among older white voters, but it is the Hispanic vote that will decide his fate here in Florida. 

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01:06 AM

Online misinformation 'overwhelmingly focused on Pennsylvania'

It is the state everybody has been watching, and widely believed to be the key battleground in tonight's election, James Titcomb reports.

So perhaps unsurprisingly, Pennsylvania has also been a focus of a disproportionate amount of misinformation, according to experts tracking the matter.

Emerson Brooking of the Atlantic Council's DFR Lab said misleading online posts had largely focused on suggestions that there had been widespread voter suppression or fraud.

Examples found today included claims that Democratic campaign posters had been put outside polling stations or claims that a Republican poll watcher had not been allowed into voting stations.

Misinformation in other states had been "sporadic", experts said in an online briefing arranged by the Election Integrity Partnership.

Pennsylvania is a vital swing state - BLOOMBERG
Pennsylvania is a vital swing state - BLOOMBERG

Read more: Why Pennsylvania is so important in the 2020 election

01:03 AM

TRUMP WINS SOUTH CAROLINA

Another win for Mr Trump, and another as predicted. The president has scooped up nine electoral votes from South Carolina, according to US media.

01:01 AM

Biden is watching on TV at home

Nick Allen reports from Wilmington, Delaware:

Joe Biden is watching the results come in at his house in the small city of Wilmington, Delaware. He has members of his family with him including his wife Jill and his grandchildren.

At the Chase Center, the main convention centre in Wilmington, a big blue stage has been erected in the car park with a giant "Biden-Harris" backdrop. If Mr Biden decides to make a speech tonight then, about two hours before he does, a group of supporters will receive text messages from the campaign alerting them to drive to the centre in their cars.

Less than 300 cars will be allowed into the car park. Mr Biden would then address the nation. As yet he has not decided, suggesting that he will wait for clarity on the result and for "votes to be counted".

Democrats are preparing an event for supporters in Wilmington, Delaware - REUTERS
Democrats are preparing an event for supporters in Wilmington, Delaware - REUTERS

01:00 AM

TRUMP WINS KENTUCKY

AP are also calling Kentucky for Donald Trump, adding eight electoral college votes to his tally.

12:58 AM

TRUMP WINS WEST VIRGINIA

Donald Trump has won West Virginia, according to AP projections, a result that will surprise precisely nobody. It earns the president another five electoral college votes.

12:57 AM

BIDEN WINS VIRGINIA

A flurry of projected results are coming in, starting with a win for Joe Biden in Virginia, earning him 13 college votes.

12:55 AM

Which are tonight's key states?

The key for either party tonight is to win specific swing states, also known as battleground or purple states. 

These battleground states are areas which have unclear party loyalties and have historically swung between voting for Republican and Democrat candidates in past elections. 

There are nine swing states where the 2020 election could be won or lost:

Read more: Who is going to win in the battlegrounds?

12:50 AM

BIDEN WINS VERMONT

Vermont, a Democratic stronghold, has voted for Joe Biden, according to the latest projections from AP. He claims three electoral college votes from the tiny northeastern state.

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12:43 AM

Arizona's Republican senator takes to airwaves for final votes

With less than two hours to go until polls close in Arizona, an 11th-hour appeal by incumbent Republican senator Martha McSally tells us a lot about the GOP's hopes, reports Laurence Dodds.

Ms McSally, a former combat pilot, grabbed a prime-time rush-hour slot on a local conservative talk radio station to lambast her opponent Mike Kelly as a tool of big money Democrats and other outside interests.

"Mark Kelly has been hiding this entire campaign, [with] money pouring in from liberals, coastal elites, [Senate Democratic leader] Chuck Schumer and his tens of millions of dollars, putting up slick TV ads, thinking somehow that he can get coronated as a senator without working for it and fighting for it."

In the past, Arizona Republicans have relied on having a bigger pool of hardcore, habitual voters than the Democrats. But polls have suggested independents are swinging towards Joe Biden, meaning the GOP must dig even deeper to compensate.

Meanwhile, there have been sporadic reports of voter intimidation and allegations of voter suppression, with Spanish-speaking voters receiving threatening calls from parties unknown. Happily, most voting here seems to have gone smoothly.

Martha McSally, right, is in a fight to keep her Senate seat in Arizona - EPA
Martha McSally, right, is in a fight to keep her Senate seat in Arizona - EPA

12:36 AM

'Trump wins Kentucky, Biden wins Vermont'

The US media are calling Kentucky and West Virginia for Donald Trump and Vermont for Joe Biden, all of which would be results as expected.

That would give Mr Trump 24 electoral votes to three for Mr Biden.

Polls have also closed in the crucial states of North Carolina and Ohio.

Read more: Why North Carolina has become an important swing state

12:26 AM

Protesters gather outside White House

Ben Riley-Smith, our US Editor, is on the ground outside the White House:

I’ve just had a walk round downtown Washington DC and it is quite eerie. There is of course the much-publicised fence up surrounding the White House. It is 8ft high and was erected over Monday night to help secure the US president’s residence. There are policemen circulating in groups. Traffic is being kept at bay for blocks around the White House’s northern edge. And already a few hundred protesters have gathered, banging drums and waving placards.

At a scan of the eye most - you will be unsurprised to hear - appeared to be Trump critics. The whole thing has echoes of the scene in the week of intense protests that broke out in the US capital in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis. But most importantly there were no violent clashes that I could see. People were singing, chanting, voicing their views - as is their right. Let us hope things stay calm.

Anti-Trump protesters are congregating in Washington DC - EPA
Anti-Trump protesters are congregating in Washington DC - EPA

12:21 AM

Postal Service defies court order over votes

The US Postal Service has defied a court order to sweep its mail processing facilities, David Millward reports.

It was ordered to do so after admitting that 300,000 ballots had been lost and was given until 3.30pm to comply.

According to the Washington Post, the USPS told the court at 5pm it was unwilling to comply with the order.

Its refusal to comply will alarm campaigners for voting rights who fear that this could have an impact on the election.

Campaigners have raised concerns that some votes will not be counted - REUTERS
Campaigners have raised concerns that some votes will not be counted - REUTERS

12:18 AM

How it could play out: four likely scenarios

Here’s what could happen and then what might happen after that happens.

Based on polling data, there are four scenarios that are possible in this election: Biden edges it, the vote is too close to call, Biden wins by a landslide, or Trump wins.

Nick Allen, our Washington correspondent, breaks down every possible outcome and what it might mean for the US. 

12:08 AM

TRUMP WINS INDIANA

The first result of the night is in as speedy counters have called Indiana for Donald Trump.

The president has, as expected, nabbed the state's 11 electoral college votes.

12:04 AM

Timeline: How the night could unfold

Set your watches — here are the key times tonight.

7pm ET, 12am UK: Polls close on much of the east coast of the US, with all voting stations shutting by 2am. Counting starts now. US TV networks will start releasing their exit polls (but take them with a pinch of salt)

9pm ET, 2am UK: We should know the results of in-person voting in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina — three of the most important swing states in the election

9.30pm ET, 2.30am UK: This was the time when the vote was called for Donald Trump in 2016

10pm ET, 3am UK: Nevada, another important swing state, is set to post its in-person results

11pm ET, 4am UK: Polls close on the west coast, including Oregon, Washington and electoral-college-rich California

A box of postal ballots arrives in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is a vital - and hotly-contested - swing state - BLOOMBERG
A box of postal ballots arrives in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is a vital - and hotly-contested - swing state - BLOOMBERG

12:01 AM

Here we go...

Good morning, everyone. 

The votes are (mostly) in, the polls are (almost) closed, and very soon we will know the next president of the United States.

Or will we? This year's election has been thrown into chaos by the coronavirus, with more than 100 million Americans voting early by postal or drop-off ballots. That means the results of Tuesday's vote could be delayed.

But we will bring you every count, every state and every vote as it comes in tonight. Hold on to your cowboy hats.

Here are this morning's top stories:

  • Polling stations are about to close across the US where experts predict a record turnout

  • Protesters have already gathered outside the White House – with reports of arrests – where they have been greeted by an "unscalable" 8ft security fence

  • Donald Trump has warned that he is willing to send in lawyers to fight the case in Pennsylvania and other hotly-contested swing states, where the president believes without evidence that the vote could be "rigged"

  • Joe Biden, looking to win the White House more than 30 years after he first ran for the presidency, began election day by visiting the graveside of his eldest son, Beau

  • The FBI is investigating robocalls – pre-recorded phone messages that use a computerised autodialer to make multiple unsolicited calls – sent to tens of thousands of Americans that urged them to “stay home” on polling day

Read more: