Donald Trump beats Hillary Clinton to win US presidency

New York businessman and former reality TV star clinches victory over Clinton after long and divisive election campaign.

Donald Trump is the next president of the US after a long, bitter and divisive election campaign.

Trump clinched victory over Hillary Clinton early on Wednesday to become the 45th US president-elect after securing more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

Speaking to his supporters in New York after his triumph, Trump said Clinton had congratulated him on his win.

US election: How did Hillary Clinton lose?

“I have just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory … and I congratulated her and her family on a very very hard-fought campaign.”

Trump said it was “time for us to come together”, pledging to be a president “for all Americans”.

Clinton’s campaign team said the Democratic candidate would speak later on Wednesday morning.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from New York, described the result as “a political bombshell” the like of which had not been seen in modern US history.

The election caught the attention of hundreds of millions of people around the world with its many dramatic moments dominating global headlines for more than a year.

Trump was seen as the least probable candidate to win in what had been thought an extremely a tight race. A former reality TV star, he announced his candidacy in June 2015.

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s poll victory upends predictions

Since then, the billionaire businessman from New York has alienated minority groups, refused to release his tax returns and remained seemingly unapologetic for leaked tapes in which he brags about his ability to sexually assault women. 

Global markets fell as the projected results emerged amid fears that a Trump presidency could cause financial turmoil. The dollar lost value against other currencies, and the Mexican peso saw its steepest dive in more than 20 years, plummeting 8 percent at one point. Oil futures also declined.

Analysis: Donald Trump’s foreign policy expectations

Clinton had a slim lead in the polls but no one was ruling out a Trump victory.

A polling average by tracker site RealClearPolitics gave Clinton a 3.3-percentage point national lead.

The 69-year-old former first lady, senator, and secretary of state – who was backed by incumbent President Barack Obama – on Monday urged the country to unite and vote for “a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America” in her last effort to woo voters.

Trump pressed his message with voters who feel left behind by globalisation and social change, wrapping up with a flourish on his protectionist slogan of “America first”.

Promising to end “years of betrayal,” tear up free trade deals, seal the border, stop the drug trade and subject Syrian refugees to “extreme vetting”, Trump told his supporters in New Hampshire: “I am with you and I will fight for you and we will win.”

READ MORE: Al Jazeera’s extensive coverage of US Election 2016

Clinton had pushed a more optimistic vision, despite a wobble in the final weeks of her campaign when the FBI reopened an investigation into whether she had put US secrets at risk by using a private email server – only to close the probe again on Sunday.

That investigation allowed Trump to recover ground lost in a series of recent scandals.

As Trump celebrated his victory in New York, congratulations from world leaders poured in, with Egypt and Russia among the first nations to reach out to the president-elect.

The Kremlin said in a statement that President Vladimir Putin was hoping to work with Trump to improve relations.

Putin “expressed hope for mutual work on bringing US-Russia relations out of their critical condition as well as on working out outstanding issues on the international agenda” in a congratulatory telegram, the Kremlin said.

Russia’s reaction to the US election result

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi spoke to Trump by telephone, seeking to foster closer diplomatic ties, an Egyptian presidency statement said.

READ MORE: The Middle East Obama left behind

“The US President-elect Donald Trump expressed his utmost appreciation to the president, pointing out that his was the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election,” the statement said.

Binali Yildirim, Turkish prime minister, expressed hopes that bilateral ties would strengthen under new US leadership.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had strained relations with Barack Obama’s Democratic administration but Yildirim welcomed Trump’s win.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that he “congratulates the elected American president, Donald Trump, and hopes that peace will be achieved during his term”.

An Abbas aide, Saeb Erekat, said he did not expect US positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to change under Trump.

Erekat said the Republican and Democratic parties are both committed to a two-state solution of the conflict and “I think this will not change with the coming administration”.

Source: Al Jazeera