After stunning victory, Donald Trump pledges to be president for all Americans

Republican presidential elect Donald Trump arrives for an election night party in New York. (AFP Photo)

President Donald Trump, it is now. Get used to it.

The Republican nominee, who pulled off the most stunning victory in US presidential elections in recent memory after a deeply divisive campaign, called for unity and said it was time “to bind the wounds of division”.

Pledging to be the president for all Americans, Trump sought to address concerns about him in capitals around the world, saying: “While we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone, all people and all other nations.”

He added, “We will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict.”

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His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called him to concede the race and congratulate him. Trump thanked her for it and said the nation owed her a debt of gratitude for her service.

Clinton has not, however, delivered the concession speech traditionally expected of a loser. Her campaign chairman John Podesta told supporters she will speak on Wednesday.

Watch: Donald Trump’s full victory speech

As the counting of votes continued late into Tuesday night, Trump had won the critical battleground states of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and appeared close to taking Michigan and Wisconsin, leaving Clinton without a discernible path to victory.

Of the battleground states, Clinton took only Virginia and Colorado in a staggering reversal of opinion polls, surveys and forecasts that had the Democrat leading in most swing states, and nationally, for most of the year.

Read: Twitter breaks US election day record of 31 million tweets

Trump’s victory will also mark a sharp repudiation of his own Republican party’s leaders, who had abandoned him, and in droves in recent weeks, over his insults, remarks about Hispanics and his out-of-control struggles with women.

Clinton led along forecast lines in the early results, but those trends quickly turned as Trump caught up and surged past her within a few hours. Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania all followed the same pattern, as if scripted.

Soon Trump was leading Clinton in the count of electoral college votes, which technically determine the race and not the popular vote. Forecasters such as FiveThirtyEight and The New York Times’s The UpShot suddenly had him as the favourite.

By this time, states the Clinton campaign considered to be its firewall – such as Michigan and Wisconsin, two of the rust belt states, so called because of their shuttered and rusting factories – saw Trump build up a sizable lead.

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