Republican Donald Trump has stunned the world by defeating Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, ending eight years of Democratic rule and sending the United States on a new, uncertain path.
Mr Trump took to the stage with his family to claim victory at his New York headquarters, and said he had taken a call from Mrs Clinton, who will not be speaking publicly this evening.
“She congratulated us and I congratulated her on a very very hard fought campaign. We owe her a major debt of gratitude to for her service to our country,” he said.
Donald Trump had repeatedly slammed his campaign rival as “crooked” during their bruising campaign.
Claiming victory, the president-elect said it was time to “heal the divisions” caused by the campaign and find common ground.
“It is time for us to come together as one united people,” he said. Mr Donald Trump also spoke of his “great economic plan” and foreign relations.
“We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time we will get along with all other nations, willing to get along with us,” he said. Mr Trump moved on to thank his family, to loud cheers from the crowd.
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“I love you and I thank you… this political stuff is nasty and it’s tough,” he said. Mr Donald Trump finalised the speech by vowing to do a “great job” as president. “It’s been what they call a historic event. But to be really historic, we have to do a great job. And I promise you that I will not let you down.”
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta earlier told a room full of her supporters in New York that Mrs Clinton would not be speaking tonight. “You should get some sleep. We’ll have more to say tomorrow,” he said.
The shock result came after opinion polls over the weekend showed Mrs Clinton went into polling day with the advantage over her Republican rival.
Both candidates had early victories but Mr Trump picked up the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.
Mr Trump rode a wave of anger toward Washington insiders to win the White House race against Mrs Clinton, the Democratic candidate whose gold-plated establishment resume includes stints as a first lady, US senator and secretary of state.
Victorious in a cliffhanger race that opinion polls had forecast was Mrs Clinton’s to win, Mr Trump won avid support among a core base of white non-college educated workers with his promise to be the “greatest jobs president that God ever created”.
Mr Trump will be inaugurated in January next year. The GOP will also hold onto a majority in the House and gain control of the Senate.
Clinton supporters in shock
North America correspondent Stephanie March was at Hillary Clinton’s headquarters in New York where supporters were visibly devastated.
“Hillary Clinton and her supporters had hoped to make history today by electing the first female president in the United States,” she said.
“Heading into election day polls had pointed to a victory for the Democrats nominee but losses key states south eastern of in Florida and North Carolina significantly narrowed her path to victory.”
Washington bureau chief Zoe Daniel was also at the headquarters.
“There’s just a sense of pervasive shock. Not only that Hillary Clinton appears to have lost the election, but that it has been such a complete and utter rout,” Daniel said.
Mrs Clinton had a lead in Florida of one percentage point and a win there would likely have secured her the presidency.
But Mr Trump enjoyed a swing in the state, winning it back from the Democrats.
Online Source: ABC.net.au.