- 7 Nov: Election called for Joe Biden after winning Pennsylvania
- Contested election and prolonged uncertainty could upend global stock markets
Americans have voted in their millions. Electorates are rushing to count those votes while pollsters attempt to explain away incorrect predictions. Donald Trump and Joe Biden both claimed success after the initial vote, but finally on Saturday afternoon the various television networks across the US finally called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden - enough to push him through the 270 electoral college votes to win the election. The Trump campaign continued to claim victory and vowed to be in court on Monday morning to challenge the postal votes across several states, possibly indicating a prolongation of the uncertainty.
As expected, social media is fighting a battle of its own trying to stay on top of false information, including accusations of fraud and victory claims. You can read more about the media's role in the US election - which extends beyond the presidential election - in this article.
5 Nov - 10am
Of the seven states still to be confirmed, the race is incredibly tight. Joe Biden is now projected to win in Michigan, one of the traditionally Democrat states Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. In Nevada, Joe Biden's lead is just 8,000 votes and in Wisconsin 20,500.
Trump's lead in Pennsylvania has narrowed overnight, with 90 per cent of votes counted, and in North Carolina, the Republicans have a 76,000 vote lead. Arizona said votes were still coming in.
Overnight, tensions in the US have stepped up a gear. Donald Trump is calling for the vote count to be halted in Pennsylvania where his lead is narrowing. In Nevada, vote counting has paused – much to the dismay of many Americans. The US cyber security chief has had to play down rumours of foreign meddling in the vote count.
4 Nov - 4pm
Donald Trump's campaign has held a press conference to announce that they are "confident on our pathway" to 270 electoral college points. The votes in Wisconsin and Michigan – currently forecast to fall into Democrat hands – are very close and the Republicans said they will go to a recount. "We want to make sure all legally cast ballots are counted," said top campaign adviser Jason Miller. "We also want to make sure that illegally cast ballots are not counted."
Meanwhile, Mr Biden's campaign has accused the Republicans of undermining the democratic process – a sentiment that no doubt has the world's more questionably-elected leaders rubbing their hands together. Democracy isn't working in the US in 2020.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden are currently expected to take 49.1 per cent and 49.3 per cent, respectively, of the votes for the 16 electorates in Michigan. That's a painfully close result which is likely to demand a recount from the losing candidate.
The state is expected to deliver results before the end of today, along with the other close-run states of Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona. But Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes and is currently being led by the Republicans, is not expected to declare until Friday.
Joe Biden has taken a slim lead in the Republican-held state of Wisconsin. The 10 electoral seats up for grabs could be crucial for the next White House resident. Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by fewer than 30,000 votes four years ago and Biden currently has a 20,000-vote lead.
With 75 per cent of the votes counted in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump is expected to hold on to the state. That is a big blow for Joe Biden’s campaign, which has been targeting middl- class voters in the so-called ‘rust belt’. Regardless of the results, the president reportedly has an army of lawyers waiting to contest Pennsylvania if the state doesn’t come back red.
Meanwhile, in 16-electorate Georgia 92 per cent of the votes have been counted and the Republicans lookas though they might enjoy the narrowest of victories – a result Joe Biden may not accept. The former vice-president has not spoken directly, but he does have a legal team on standby ready to contest unwanted results. His predecessor Hillary Clinton has warned him not to accept the outcome of the vote.
And the unusual result in Nebraska – which returned four Republicans and one Democrat – means that a split outcome is still on the table.
A long drawn-out fight for the White House and prolonged period of uncertainty could cause havoc for global markets. Chaos is on the horizon.
Markets and polls were forecasting a Biden victory or even the possibility of a ‘Blue Wave’ – where entire states, rather than individual electorates switch from Republican to Democrat. But the exit poll also revealed that 34 per cent of Americans said the economy was the most important consideration in making their vote, and the economy is the one issue upon which Trump is more respected than Biden.
That could explain why key swing states of Florida, Iowa and Ohio have not turned blue, while 38-electorate Texas – which some expected to deliver surprise results – has remained resolutely Republican. With most of the votes counted in these states, it is now clear that Joe Biden is unlikely to win an easy majority and claim victory any time soon.
But Donald Trump is not home and dry. Votes are yet to be counted in key ‘Rust Belt’ states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. This is Democrat heartland, but victory here is important for securing Trump another four years in the White House.
There might still be a long way to go in the counting, but this hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from claiming “a big WIN” on social media, much to the dismay of Facebook executives who labelled the President’s post with a warning. Both Twitter and Facebook pledged to censor posts that claimed victory before the results had been confirmed.
But for British investors the biggest question remains: should we care?