In a campaign that has proved as surprising as it has vacuous, the US Republican Party has emerged victorious in the 2016 US election and Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States of America.
The 2016 US election campaign has featured possibly the two most controversial candidates to ever run for President of the USA, at least according to mainstream media. This has meant that, more so than ever before, the US election campaign was focused on scandal and sensationalism rather than policy.
Early in the day Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump both cast their ballots in New York polling stations, alongside their spouses.
Elsewhere in the country, political pundits speculated that the election will smash the previous US election voter turnout record made in 2008, with people queuing for hours at polling stations around the country.
There was a definite early swing towards Clinton, likely among Latino voters in Florida, but it was not consistent and Trump has now been announced victorious in the important swing state. And although the high female voter turnout at this US election really benefited Clinton, it doesn’t seem to have been enough.
US election projections showed early on that Trump was set to win the battleground states of Ohio, Florida and North Carolina – three crucial states in the race for the Oval Office.
It also appears that the Republicans have also won control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Stock markets react to US election result
The uncertainty of the election sent Dow futures and Asian and Australian stock markets tumbling, reflecting investor concern over what a Trump presidency might mean for the economy and trade.
At one point, AUD$47bn (£29bn, US$36bn) was wiped off the Australian stock market before it underwent a mild recovery.
Projections from many media outlets, including the New York Times gave the Republicans a convincing win and the Mexican peso plunged against the US dollar.
Trump’s trade plan calls for using the power of the Executive Order to impose a 45% tariff on many imports from China, 35% tariffs on manufactured products from Mexico, and tariffs of between 15% – 45% for any country deemed to be a “currency manipulator.” Prime targets include the European Union, Japan and South Korea, which, taken together with China and Mexico, represent five out of America’s top six trading partners.
Such powerful rhetoric against the status quo has business markets concerned.
Mr Trump again declined to say whether he will accept the US election result but it may be the case that he has no need to contest it. “We’re going to see how things play out,” the Republican candidate told Fox News on Tuesday, while alleging there had been voting irregularities. “I want to see everything honest.”
Honest? Maybe. Regular? Not by a long shot.