Donald Trump wins presidential election
Republican candidate Donald Trump shattered pollsters expectations to win the US Presidency with 276 electoral votes (at writing), having clinched the key battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Trump’s fairly early victory in Florida meant the election was on a knife-edge throughout the night. Following a Clinton concession phone call around 8.00GMT, Trump delivered his victory speech to supporters in New York City. In his statement, Trump pledged to be “President for all Americans”, adding that “it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division”. Trump also spoke briefly 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”.
Republicans maintain control of House and Senate
In addition to the Presidency, the Republicans have managed to win the necessary down-ballot elections to keep control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Democrats had been expected to take control of the Senate, but the Republicans have held 51 seats to the Democrats’ 47. One of the lone successes for the Democrats on the night was Catherine Cortez Masto’s win to hold retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada. Republicans also easily won the House. The implications of this 115th Congress are significant as a GOP sweep gives them control of the legislative agenda and likely the Supreme Court (below). Given the tension between Donald Trump and mainstream Republicans during the campaign, he will need to build bridges with Paul Ryan and other senior Congressional leaders.
Implications for the Supreme Court
There is a vacant seat on the Supreme Court, which the next President will need to fill. The Republican control of the Senate, as well as the White House, is crucial here, as the Senate will need to ratify the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice. If his nominee is successful, it could have profound implications for previous Supreme Court rulings and see an era of more socially conservative judgments.
Implications for UK-US relations
The ‘Special Relationship’ has been a political default since it was first coined by Winston Churchill 70 years ago. In endorsing Brexit, Donald Trump said Britain would not be “at the back of the queue” for a new trade deal with America, meaning his victory may tip the trade balance towards the UK and away from the EU. However, given Trump’s isolationist rhetoric during the campaign, time will tell how President Trump handles this historic relationship.
Timeline of Events – What happens next?
– Trump makes victory address to election party in NY (8.00 GMT)
– Clinton likely to make concession speech to supporters (11.00 GMT)
– First Cabinet appointments expected (w/c 14 November)
– Electoral College members formally vote for President and Vice President (19 December)
– Votes formally counted by Congress (6 January)
– Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th President of the United States (20 January)