Battle lines drawn: Will it be Donald Trump of Hillary Clinton who moves into the White House

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) - Credit: AP

This year's US election, dubbed the 'unpopularity contest', will come to a conclusion next week. Political editor Annabelle Dickson looks at an extraordinary contest

Who is Hillary Clinton?

The former First Lady and wife of former president Bill Clinton was in charge of US foreign policy as secretary of state for four years

as part of Barack Obama's administration. She had unsuccessfully stood to be the Democrat candidate in 2009 against President Obama, but saw off Bernie Sanders to be the Democrat candidate in 2016.

Why has her campaign not been plain sailing?

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She has been plagued by an email scandal. Essentially Mrs Clinton used a private server to send state emails – a move which prompted an FBI investigation. The FBI cleared her of any criminal wrongdoing in July, but censured her at the time for being 'extremely careless'. It appeared to be the end of the matter as far as officials were concerned until last Friday when the director of the FBI sent a letter to leaders in Congress announcing there would be a fresh inquiry into her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

What is Mrs Clinton's attitude to Europe?

As secretary of state she already knows many European leaders after more than 50 visits to European countries while in post. Mrs Clinton wants the US to work more closely with Europe on intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism. But she has said that European leaders need to do more

to monitor the flow of foreign

fighters back to Europe from Iraq and Syria.

And what about the UK?

She strongly hinted ahead of the EU referendum that she supported remain. A former policy advisor Jake Sullivan said Mrs Clinton had always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong European Union and that she valued a strong British voice in the European Union. She hit back at leading Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage after he claimed he would not vote for Hillary Clinton if she paid him (if he had a vote), accusing him of stoking anti-immigrant sentiments 'to win the referendum, to have Britain leave the European Union'.

What are her odds of winning?

Paddy Power was yesterday offering odds of 1/3 on a Clinton victory.

Who is Donald Trump?

One of the world's most famous businessmen with a casino, hotel and worldwide property empire estimated to be worth more than £3bn.

The New Yorker featured on

the US reality show The Apprentice and has written 16 books to help people learn how to think like a billionaire.

What controversies has Mr Trump courted?

The Republican candidate says he wants to ban Muslims from coming into the US and build a wall between America and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants.

He begun to trail in the polls after a recording last month - dubbed the Trump Tapes – revealed he had bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women, suggesting that 'when you're a star, they let you do it'.

He dismissed the recordings as locker room banter.

Mr Trump has also been rocked by the revelations that he may have escaped paying income tax for nearly two decades.

Has this affected his poll ratings?

Yes. Mrs Clinton pulled away

after the early October scandals,

with some polls putting her 12

points ahead. The lead appears to have narrowed again in recent days.

What is his attitude to Europe?

In an interview in March following the Belgian terrorist attack, Mr Trump said: 'I said Brussels is a hellhole, and then all of a sudden it came out the attack took place in Brussels. I understand what's going on around the world far better than these politicians do.'

And the UK?

Mr Trump celebrated Britain's decision to leave the European Union, tweeting 'They took their country back, just like we will take America back' on the day of the result.

And his odds?

Paddy Power offered 5/2 on Trump yesterday.

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