NEW YORK, U.S. - In one of the biggest shocks in modern political history, Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States upstaging Democrat rival Hillary ...
• Euphoria grips Trump headquarters as gloom spreads through Clinton campaign HQ
• Muslim Americans express their dismay on Twitter
• Russian president send congratulatory message to Trump
NEW YORK, U.S. - In one of the biggest shocks in modern political history, Donald Trump has been elected the 45th president of the United States upstaging Democrat rival Hillary Clinton.
Defying all expectations, the businessman-turned-politician performed spectacularly well on Election Day to romp home comfortably, easily crossing the magical number of 270 electoral votes.
Crucial victories in battleground states Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio were stunning for a candidate long seen as unlikely to win the presidency.
Michigan, Wisconsin also went to Trump. The Ohio victory was especially important for Trump, as no Republican has won the White House without taking the Buckeye State.
In other electoral results, the Republican party retained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, despite modest Democrat gains, putting the U.S. on the edge of sweeping right-leaning legislative change, and all but guaranteeing the current vacancy on the Supreme Court will go to a conservative justice.
Euphoria at Trump headquarters
As news of the stunning victory was confirmed, celebrations at Trump's "victory party" at Manhattan's hotel Hilton began.
Beginning on a quietly optimistic note, the party soon turned raucous and increasingly pumped up.
The crowd swelled in number, flagging energy levels boosted by the avalanche of results that some admitted were far better than they ever imagined with Hillary Clinton the strong favorite all through the election race.
As Fox News, the TV network of choice for most Trump supporters beamed across the party on giant screens, declared Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin for Trump, they broke out into whoops and cheers, clapping their hands, fist-pumping and waving placards.
The president-elect arrived at the hotel soon after receiving a call from Hillary Clinton, who he said had conceded defeat, adding “We owe her a major debt of gratitude.”
“I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton, she congratulated us, it’s about us, on our victory. And I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign. She fought very hard,” he stated.
The president-elect celebrated his win alongside his family, including wife Melania Trump and his children. Elected along with Trump is his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence.
Addressing supporters, he said, “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past — of which there were a few people — I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can unify our great country.”
Trump told the crowd it was time to "bind the wounds of division" - pledging he would be a president for all Americans.
"The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer," he said.
"I promise you I will not let you down."
And in a message to the world, he said, "While we will always put American interests first, we will deal with everyone. We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict."
But he added, "We will get along with all other nations... willing to get along with us."
Becoming The Donald
Trump’s background is decidedly different from that of most presidential candidates.
Through the decades, his biography includes real estate mogul, businessman, pageant owner, reality TV star, and now the 45th U.S. president.
Born in Queens, New York, in 1946, the second youngest of five children born to Fred Trump, a real estate developer, and Mary, a homemaker, the young Donald John Trump was told by his father, “You are a killer … you are a king.”
Trump avoided the Vietnam draft four times, and after graduating from Wharton, expanded his family’s business empire to Manhattan real estate, taking on his first major project, the Grand Hyatt Hotel, in 1978, after negotiating a 40-year tax abatement with the city.
He began flirting with the idea of politics in the 1980s, drifting between the Democrats and the Republicans.
He finally settled on the latter after the election of current U.S. President Barack Obama, towards whom he quickly established an enmity.
In 2015, he announced his candidacy for president of the United States.
Trump's run at the presidency marked an ascent that has defied expectation from political analysts, the media, and rivals in both major U.S. parties alike.
And at 70, he will be the oldest person ever inaugurated as U.S. president, which will not be until January 20.
Fears for the economy
Trump plan is called “America First”, and has three main elements: a big fiscal boost from lower taxes; renegotiated trade deals; and legal changes, among other things, to immigration and banking regulation.
Put together, he claims these changes will increase U.S. growth to between 3.5 percent and 4 percent a year, and create 25 million jobs.
Most experts feel this target isn't realistic - it would require the U.S. to grow faster than the world economy as a whole – and partly because most believe that such a plan would actually reduce growth and lead to recession.
Financial markets, clearly, were left reeling with news of Trump's victory sending shockwaves across world markets.
As America was left stunned, the world began to react to this unprecedented news.
Across the Middle East, the reaction was muted, with many politicians and pundits previously predicting an unsatisfactory result for the Arab world no matter who takes over from President Barack Obama in January.
In Russia, many politicians were jubilant on Wednesday - including President Vladimir Putin, who sent a congratulatory message to Trump saying that he hoped there could be a "constructive dialogue" between the two countries.
German Defence Minister Ursula van der Leyen called the result a "huge shock", with a member of the Reichstag's foreign affairs committee warning that "geopolitically we are in a very uncertain situation." Other countries echoed similar concerns.
Americans on Wednesday woke up to the shocking news of a Trump victory. And there was definitely a lot of concern.
Some claimed the 'racism' and 'xenophobia' seen in Trump's campaign would be legitimised if he won, which is somewhat reminiscent of the attitude in the wake of Brexit back in June.
Muslims-Americans also took to Twitter to express their dismay at the victory of a man who has repeatedly said he would ban Muslims from the U.S. if elected president.
And so with Trump heading to the White House, the businessman, who vowed in his campaign slogan to “make America great again," will not only have to tackle uniting the country after such a polarising election, but will have to address key issues and provide, what his camp describes, as a “fresh perspective” versus “failed policies.”