US Election 2016: An extraordinary night, reaction to a ‘seismic’ decision and what happens next
- Credit: AP
Donald Trump has promised to revive the American dream after pulling off an extraordinary victory in the race for the White House.
In the aftermath of a bitter campaign, the controversial tycoon sought to unite the country behind his leadership, saying he would 'bind the wounds' of the deeply divided nation.
In an upbeat and conciliatory message in stark contrast to the vicious battle for the presidency, Mr Trump said: 'No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach. America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.'
The billionaire businessman will become the 45th president of the United States after voters gambled on his pledge to 'Make America Great Again'.
Taking to the stage with his family, including wife Melania, Mr Trump promised a plan to double economic growth and invest in world-class infrastructure.
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'Working together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream.'
It would be a 'beautiful thing', he said.
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The win came after Trump, who now becomes the country's 45th president, secured several battleground states, including Florida, Ohio and North Carolina.
He has pledged to act quickly to repeal Mr Obama's landmark health care law, revoke the nuclear agreement with Iran and rewrite important trade deals with other countries, particularly Mexico and Canada.
Many in Britain who stayed up as the results came in compared the atmosphere to that of June 23, when the country voted to leave the European Union (EU).
Pollsters were proved wrong, as it became clear that a narrow win for Clinton would in reality become a victory for Trump.
American politician Sarah Palin, who ran as John McCain's vice presidential nominee in 2008, told Sky News that Great Britain and the US were 'hooking up'.
'We are going rogue and saying 'the people are going to take back control,' she said. 'We are going to be able to say we don't want this globalism.
'We can't be telling other countries how to sweep their porches if we can't sweep our own.
'So we have got to take care of what is going on here within our borders.'
Trump hailed Brexit as a 'great victory' for the UK, while former UKIP leader Nigel Farage was invited to address a major rally for him.
Social media reaction
Twitter and Facebook was alive with reaction to election night, with the majority of trending terms relating to the contest.
Labour MP Dan Jarvis posted on Twitter: 'Decent left of centre politics defeated by divisive right wing populism. Repercussions will be felt around the world incl here. Get ready.'
MP Steve Reed added: 'President Trump, a terrifying day for the world and for everyone who values democracy and freedom.'
British TV presenter Piers Morgan congratulated his friend, and said: 'Congratulations to my friend @realDonaldTrump - an astonishing achievement. #President.'
Singer Lily Allen said: 'Listening to my babies singing away to each other on the baby monitor, the world is a darker place than the one they went to sleep in. Sad.'
Katy Perry tweeted: 'Gonna cry my false eye lashes off tonight.'
The pop star told fans to 'rise up', saying: 'We will never be silenced. The revolution is coming. Rise up.'
Vote was 'seismic'
The vote was described as 'seismic' by Broadland MP Keith Simpson, who sits on the government's intelligence and security committee.
In an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk as the news emerged, he said: 'This was a man with no political experience, never served in any political office, business record rather patchy, makes outrageous comments, takes on the Republica party establishment - many leading Republicans actually said they were going to vote for Hillary.
'And yet he tapped into a mood in America - and not just in America, we've seen it in our own country and Europe and elsewhere - which is anti-establishment.'
He said the significance was not just in his presidency, but also in Republicans taking control of Congress, which gives Trump 'enormous' patronage.
'I think it's a rejection of the old establishment, political parties, the so-called experts and in America, and in Europe, it's largely the white population who feel that globalisation has taken over and all the old certainties are gone,' he said. 'UKIP tapped heavily into that during the referendum campaign.
'People feel the old political parties have failed to deliver, we've had economic crash and Trump was able to articulate that.'
He said that it didn't end up mattering what Trump said about women and minorities, and, while it was not a direct comparison, it explained how Nigel Farage 'could get away with blue murder'.
'People didn't factor that in and the fact at the end of the day was that Hillary Clinton seemed to be the old establishment and the past,' he sad.
A 'verbal violence' had developed, he said, and people were no longer interested in the facts.
Trump will have to wait until the new year before he can move into the White House.
The Republican will not take his place in the Oval Office until January and in the meantime the president-elect will prepare his administration and appoint officials.
By law, the president must take his oath of office by noon on January 20.
On December 19, the electors - the members of the Electoral College - meet in their state HQs and vote for a president and vice president on separate ballots. They will sign, seal and certify six sets of electoral votes.
The votes must be received by the president of the Senate and the archivist no later than nine days after the meeting, according to the website of the National Archives and Records Administration.
On January 6, Congress will meet and and count the electoral votes, before the president of the Senate declares who has been elected president and vice president.
Only after these steps have been followed will Mr Trump be sworn in as the new president of the United States.
But, before that, anti-racist protesters are to stage a demonstration outside the US Embassy in London.
Activists accused the President-elect of having a long history of 'racist outbursts' as well as his promise to build a wall between the US and Mexico.