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ALMOST FIVE DAYS after polls closed in most US states, there was finally a result: Joe Biden won the US election.

On Saturday afternoon Irish-time, a batch of results from the swing state of Pennsylvania gave Biden a lead of over 30,000 votes on Trump – which was enough for the race to be called by all of the US networks.

Biden will be the 46th president of the United States, making his running mate Kamala Harris the first female vice president.

It was third time lucky for Biden, who first ran for election in 1988.

Biden and Harris gave victory speeches just after 1am Irish time, and we followed all the action throughout the day below.

After a long wait, we finally have a result: Joe Biden has been elected 46th President of United States – AP, CNN and others have now called Pennsylvania and the overall race.

Van Jones became emotional on CNN after the Biden victory was projected.

He said it’s “easier to be a parent” today as it proves “character matters” and “truth matters”.

The Taoiseach is quick off the bat to congratulate Biden, who he said has been “a true friend of this nation throughout his life”.

President-elect Joe Biden, who has ran to bcome president three times, has just tweeted the below video.

“The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not.”

Fox News, a channel which has supported Donald Trump throughout his presidency, is now referring to Joe Biden as the President-elect.

A bit of a burn – albeit an accurate one – from Vox here.

Republicans – including Donald Trump – have repeatedly, and at times intentionally, pronounced Kamala Harris’s name incorrectly. They should probably learn it now, Jake Tapper points out on CNN.

Hillary Clinton, who of course lost to Donald Trump four years ago, has congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory.

“It’s a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America,” she tweeted.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said the election was “about so much more than” Biden or her.

“It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it.”

Donald Trump has released the following statement on the election result:

“We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor. In Pennsylvania, for example, our legal observers were not permitted meaningful access to watch the counting process. Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.

“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated. The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots. This is the only way to ensure the public has full confidence in our election. It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters. Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.

“So what is Biden hiding? I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands.”

It’s important to once again note that the Trump campaign has not provided any evidence of fraud or illegal practices at count centres.

President Michael D Higgins has conveyed his “best wishes to President-elect Joe Biden, wishing him and the American people every good fortune for his term in office and congratulating … Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement”.

Political leaders are lining up to congratulate Biden and Harris, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald has described their victory as “outstanding”.

Setting quite a different tone to President Donald Trump, President-elect Joe Biden has released the below statement:

“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris.

“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.

“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.

“We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”

The Social Democrats’ spokesperson on international affairs, Cian O’Callaghan TD, has welcomed the election result.

“The election of Joe Biden signals a much-needed change in direction.

“Kamala Harris is set to smash a number of glass ceilings by becoming the first female Vice President, as well as the first Black and South Asian-American Vice President. This is a moment of significant progress to be celebrated.

“This result isn’t just good for politics in America, it’s good for politics internationally. Hopefully, it marks the beginning of the end for the bluster, buffoonery and brinksmanship that has become all too common on the international stage.”

Micheál Martin tweeted his congratulations earlier but has now released a full statement which mentions Joe Biden’s Irish roots.

“On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I offer warmest congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States.

“Ireland takes pride in Joe Biden’s election, just as we are proud of all the generations of Irish women and Irish men and their ancestors whose toil and genius have enriched the diversity that powers America.

“This is a particularly special day for the people of County Louth and of County Mayo who count President-elect Biden among their own.

“Joe Biden has always been a stalwart friend and supporter of Ireland, including of the prosperity, stability and opportunity made possible by the Good Friday Agreement, to which he has pledged his ongoing steadfast support.

“I also wish to congratulate Kamala Harris on her election as Vice-President and recognise the tremendous significance of her election to the role.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with the new Administration in the period ahead in progressing international peace and security.

“I also intend to work closely with the new Administration and the United States Congress to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that is so important to tens of thousands of Irish people making a significant contribution to America.”

Speaking of Joe Biden’s Irish roots, relatives of his and other locals are celebrating in Biden’s ancestral home of Ballina, Co Mayo, today.

us-presidential-candidate-joe-bidens-ancestral-home-in-ireland Joe Blewitt (left), a cousin of Joe Biden, with (from left) his wife Deirdre, daughter Lauren (7), Emer Bourke, his aunt Breege Bourke and his father Brendan Blewitt in Mayo today. Source: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

us-presidential-candidate-joe-bidens-ancestral-home-in-ireland Brendan Blewitt and his sister Breege Bourke (second left), cousins of Joe Biden, celebrating at a mural of Biden in Ballina. Source: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

us-presidential-candidate-joe-bidens-ancestral-home-in-ireland Celebrations begin in Ballina, Co Mayo, Biden's ancestral home Source: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Meanwhile in Virginia…

Members of The Sqaud, four progressive congresswomen repeatedly targeted by Donald Trump and his supporters, are pretty happy today.

Ayanna Pressley hasn’t tweeted yet, but we’re sure that’ll happen soon.

Senator Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden’s closest rival when it came to seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, has also congratulated Biden and Harris.

“Let us create a nation built on justice, not greed and bigotry,” he said.

Joe Biden’s main message along the campaign trail was majorly focused on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control in the US and healing the country’s deep divisions.

But before the pandemic hit, he had laid out more substantial plans like addressing health care disparities, toughening gun control, overhauling policing, providing free community college, erasing student loan debt, investing in green energy and improving the nation’s infrastructure.

Let’s take a look at what he plans to do while in office.

The congratulations are coming in thick and fast now. Former President Barack Obama said he “could not be prouder” of Biden and Harris.

I’m going to hand you over to my colleague Adam Daly now. Thanks for staying with us this far.

We’ll continue to bring you the latest updates as they happen.

Thanks, Órla. Adam here to keep you updated for the next while. 

Biden supporters are celebrating across the US right now, and that includes in front of the White House.

Good thing Trump is gone golfing. 

More former US presidents are congratulating Biden.

Bill Clinton says Biden will “serve all of us and bring us all together.”

Jimmy Carter is looking forward to seeing the positive change they bring to the nation. 

Mitt Romney becomes the first Republican senator to congratulate Biden. 

Hardly surprising given he did vote to impeach Trump. 

Update now from the Biden camp, where Joe is wearing a hat that reads ‘We just did’ and 46.

Snag_abb824 Source: Twitter/JillBiden

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has shared a video of himself on the phone with Biden among cheering crowds in Brooklyn, NY.

But Schumer isn’t celebrating yet as the Senate races continue. Democrats needed to pick up three Senate seats to secure a 50-50 split, which looked unlikely early on in the race.

That split would allow Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to act as tie-breaker in any Senate votes until, at least, the 2022 mid-term elections.

Today, it looks like the Democrats look to have picked up one of the three needed. However, two crucial races in Georgia are heading to run-offs, which means a result won’t be decided until 5 January.

If the Democrats lose those run-offs, Biden will face a much different balance of power than he did with Barack Obama back in 2008.

CNN has just projected a win for Biden in Nevada (even though that has been projected by the Associated Press and Fox News) putting him at 279 electoral votes. 

TheJournal.ie is using AP calls, which is why we have Biden on 290. 

The AP and Fox News have projected Arizona for the president-elect but other outlets like CNN maintain it is too close to call. 

Biden’s lead there is just under 20,000 votes with 97% of the ballots counted. 

And now for a musical interlude, courtesy of Chuck Schumer.

Donald Trump has finished playing golf at the Trump National golf club in Sterling, Virginia.

election-2020-trump Trump smiles and waves to supporters after leaving the Trump National golf club in Virgina. Source: Steve Helber/PA

He hasn’t conceded but it appears he’s already doing weddings. 

Hello. Gráinne Ní Aodha here taking the Liveblog over from my colleague Adam Daly.

I got jealous of the stellar job he and Órla Ryan have done in covering the US election result and its aftermath, so I’ve asked for a go.

Kamala Harris, who will be the first Black and first Asian American female US vice president, has tweeted the following. They love to talk about working, the Americans.

kamala Source: Twitter

On a more serious note, this may hint at what Harris and Biden will say in their speeches, due in a few hours’ time (1am Irish time).

Bernie Sanders is speaking on CNN, and he’s saying something that a lot of people would find difficult to disagree with.

“We need to bring our people together at a time when so many people are hurting.” 

“I don’t envy Joe Biden,” he says, adding that some of the issues he’s going to have to tackle include access to health insurance and education, and dealing with racism, climate change and the US’s crumbling infrastructure.

We hear your hurting, and we’re here to take on the 1%, is what Sanders says the Biden-Harris presidency has to offer the US, hinting at the huge wealth inequality there is.

“Now it’s time for the working people to be heard.”

Hard to disagree, right?

The Republicans have made gains in the House of Representatives, and the race is neck-and-neck in the Senate. 

At state-level, Houses and Assemblies have returned more Republicans than there had been before – another win for the Republicans despite losing the White House.

election Source: Twitter

I like the simple pleasures being enjoyed in these two photos, from both sides of the Atlantic. 

election-2020-los-angeles A man blows bubbles from an apartment patio in Los Angeles. Source: Chris Pizzello

us-presidential-candidate-joe-bidens-ancestral-home-in-ireland Locals read a newspaper in Ballina, Co Mayo - the ancestral home of Joe Biden. Source: PA

This is quite a heartfelt statement from the US’s Interfaith Immigration Coalition:

“Today we celebrate the opportunity to turn a page, as a country, and move toward healing. When it comes to federal immigration policy, the past four years have been dark, driven by xenophobia.

“The US government turned on men, women, and children fleeing violence, destroying our proud role as a place of refuge. The incarceration of children and families, persecuted people, and long-term US residents has shocked and grieved our souls.”

This is an interesting point about it ending as a resounding victory for Biden.

What I’d add to it though, is you can’t claim the Electoral College system is broken after Hilary Clinton didn’t win in 2016 having won the popular vote, and then use the Electoral College ‘score’ as proof of a definite victory for Biden.

Vote Source: Twitter

This CNN reporter says he hasn’t seen scenes of celebration like there are in Atlanta (a recount is to take place in Georgia, but it is leaning slightly towards Biden) in his many decades as a reporter. He started at 20 years of age in the 1980s.

CNN Atlanta Source: CNN

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement is in – he says the US-Canada relationship is “unique on the world stage”. 

This might be me being cranky here, but is their relationship not based on having a border, and being on the same land mass/continent?

A few countries have that in common, sure…

Trudeau Source: Twitter

I’m definitely being cranky. Don’t mind me – I’m just upset this blockbuster election is almost over.

A couple of photos of celebrations from around the US:

Washington

 

election-2020-washington

Philadelphia

election-2020-protests-philadelphia

Georgia

election-2020-georgia

New York

news-joe-biden-wins-presidency Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

I’m oddly fascinated by the Four Seasons/Four Season’s Landscaping press conference earlier.

We covered it in our earlier Liveblog (scroll down to the end) but just in case you missed it: Donald Trump tweeted out earlier that his lawyers would hold a press conference at the ‘Four Seasons’ in Philadelphia – implying the four-and-a-half star hotel.

He later deleted the tweet, and sent another one saying it was at Four Season’s Landscaping – a much less grand venue. The Four Seasons hotel confirmed they weren’t involved.

Trump wasn’t in attendance, but the press conference was held as planned, and Giuliani told reporters that they would challenge the election count in court (alleging election fraud without evidence, you know the drill).

Some brilliant soundbites from RTÉ’s Northern correspondent Tommy Gorman who said Joe Biden will be “the most Irish American president” there has been. 

He says he doesn’t need to look for his roots, he’s well aware of them already - this will probably make being Irish-American fashionable, he says.

***Another Good Soundbite Alert!***

The artist behind this Ballina mural (drop me a line tips@thejournal.ie if you spot his name, I missed it) said “thank god for that” when told his mural went viral.

“That was the point,” he said with a smile.

us-presidential-candidate-joe-bidens-ancestral-home-in-ireland Source: PA

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Mark Daly have already written to the Taoiseach to ask him to consider inviting Biden to Ireland to address a joint sitting of the Dáil and the Seanad, reports RTÉ’s Mícheál Lehane.

Aside: there is a legend on Daly’s mother’s side that Mark is related to a General in George Washington’s army.

The rumour goes that in 1760s, the royal governor of New Hampshire John Wentworth appointed John Sullivan as a major in the militia, where he eventually sided with the revolutionary cause. Eventually George Washington was appointed commander in chief and several others, including Sullivan, were named generals.

You can read more about it on the ‘About’ section on Daly’s page.

French President Emmanuel Macron has tweeted out congratulations (standard), but has also tweeted out that there are challenges to overcome.

E Macron Source: Twitter

His economy minister Bruno Le Maire had quite a withering statement on the US during the week:

“Let’s not kid ourselves,” he said. “The United States has not been a friendly partner to European states for several years now.”

Whether Joe Biden or Donald Trump is elected by Americans tonight or tomorrow, nothing changes this strategic fact. The American continent has detached itself from the European continent.

Challenges indeed. 

Donald Trump is back tweeting, anyways.

Donald T Source: Twitter

In response to that - a Fox News reporter stationed at the count centre in Philadelphia said “it’s just not true” that observers weren’t allowed in.

Both Republican and Democrat observers were allowed in, he said, which Trump’s lawyers acknowledged, too. The lawyers were only fighting a legal challenge to get closer. 

Trump tweets Source: Twitter

Off the top of my head: populations all over the world are increasing. It’s not difficult to win more votes than previously.

I acknowledge that turnout should be taken into account here (the percentage of the electorate who voted), but that’s not what is being said about Trump or Biden’s vote haul.

Michelle Obama had a thread earlier on the US election result – this stood out:

Let’s remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos, and division. We’ve got a lot of work to do to reach out to these folks in the years ahead and connect with them on what unites us.

But we’ve also got to recognize that the path to progress will always be uphill. We’ll always have to scrape and crawl up toward that mountaintop. And two years from now, four years from now, there will once again be no margin for error.

That’s an important point – Trump’s supporters cannot be ignored. They will need policies to help address the issues that are important to them. 

This is why: 56% of Americans said they are better off now than they were four years ago.

Better off Source: Gallop

The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has sent his wishes to Joe Biden on his election win, and said “the world needs a strong relationship between Europe and the United States”.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is the first time that Europe and the United States face a global challenge without a common vision. This makes our responses less effective.

“… I look forward to working closely with the United States Congress and the new Biden administration.”

Interesting.

Where is everyone pulling these selfies with Biden from?

It’s clear that Fox News is making a concerted effort to calm Trump supporters protesting the election result. 

A Fox reporter outside a count centre in Phoenix, Arizona said that crowds outside the centre are “frustrated”, and frustrated with Fox News, who called Arizona for Joe Biden some days ago – ahead of the New York Times and other outlets. 

She said that some supporters believe that Trump can still win the election and will be the president for the next four years.

Fox News Source: Fox News

The Fox reporter also showed this photo…

Dem and Republican Source: Fox News

… of counters in Phoenix, and explained that one Republican and one Democrat discuss ballots where the mark isn’t clear, and “decide together” what the voter meant by how they marked the ballot and how it should be counted.

That’s all from me for tonight. I’ll hand you over to our US election guru Christine Bohan who will steer this mammoth Liveblog until after midnight.

As for me… I’m off to sleep. 

Sleepy Source: Twitter

Thanks for steering the liveblog ship Gráinne, as we head towards day… 5? 45? 24,525? of our coverage of this election result. 

Anderson Cooper had an amusing moment on CNN a few minutes ago where he made a reference to the large crowds turning out on the streets of America’s cities tonight “because it’s Saturday night” – and then paused for a couple of seconds to check whether it is, in fact, Saturday. 

Who even knows for sure at this point*. 

I’m Christine Bohan and I’ll be looking after the liveblog for the next little while as we await president-elect (let’s get used to writing that) Joe Biden’s victory speech at 1am Irish-time. 

If you’re still awake, say hi. Tweet me @christinebohan, leave me a comment below, or throw a mail to tips@thejournal.ie with what you make of the result and I may include some of them in the liveblog. 

*Our FactCheck team has checked this out and confirmed that yes, it is indeed Saturday. Verdict: TRUE. 

You may have noticed a couple of broadcasters tonight referring to Kamala Harris as the first person of colour to be vice president of the United States – and then correcting themselves to say the first woman of colour. 

This guy is the reason why: 

800px-Charles_Curtis-portrait A fine moustache Source: Public Domain

Meet Charles Curtis. He seved as Herbert Hoover’s vice-president from 1929 to 1933, and he was a member of the Kaw Nation, making him the highest-ranking Native American ever to serve in the US government and the first person of colour to be vice president, almost a century ago. 

He was a Republican who supported women having the right to vote, endorsed the five-day working week, and helped Native Americans get rights they were entitled to, such as being able to vote.

It says a lot that he isn’t more well-known. If you’re so inclined, you can read more about him here

This photograph was posted to Twitter by Naomi Biden, one of Joe Biden’s granddaughters, and I think this is the first image we’ve seen of him since the official declaration just before 4.30pm today. 

It’s doing big numbers on Twitter: it already has over 19,000 retweets and 150,000 likes. 

What is Biden going to do with his key first days in office, I hear you ask? 

Well, one thing has been leaked to the US media this evening: Biden plans to announce a 10- or 12-person coronavirus taskforce on Monday, according to CNN

Voters said coronavirus was the third-most important issue when they were considering their vote, behind the economy and racial inequality, and the move will put clear blue sky between Biden and Trump’s approach.

Almost 10 million people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US and there have been over 230,000 deaths so far. That’s a tough ship to turn around, but this signals that Biden may be considering a more national approach than the current state-by-state one. 

election-2020-jill-biden Source: Chris O'Meara/PA

Jill Biden is going to be making history in her own way: she’s going to be the first First Lady to keep working at her job while living in the White House. 

Dr Biden teaches English at a commmunity college (a third-level institution usually offering two-year courses) in Virginia. 

“Maybe the time has come when Americans will be more accepting of the idea that a president’s wife can simultaneously be a first lady and a working professional,” historian Katherine Jellison of Ohio University told USA Today in this piece all about what Jill Biden plans to do in the role. Here’s to doing the bare minimum expected! 

7 November 1972: Joe Biden won his first Senate election
7 November 2020: Joe Biden wins the US presidential election

Yes, Joe Biden winning today comes exactly 48 years to the day after he was elected to the US Senate. Here’s a video of baby-faced Joe Biden from shortly after he was elected in 1972 at the not-so-baby-age of 30. 

A reminder of why we’re all here scrolling endlessly through Twitter and every news app ever invented at close to midnight on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. 

Joe Biden will be giving his victory speech at a convention centre in Delaware at 1am Irish-time. 

I am willing to bet all the money in my pockets (a €2 coin that’s been there since March) that he is going to hit on: a) bringing America together after a difficult four years b) healing c) looking to a bright future and d) how at least 70 million people voted for Trump and the reasons why they did need to be acknowledged. 

Also, he’ll thank his family, Obama, and Black people across the US for getting him elected today. 

We’ll be covering it all here as it happens so stick with us (and you can just Revolut or PayPal the money to me if/when I’m proved right). 

news-election-2020-joe-biden-kamala-harris-election-celebration A man waves an American flag outside the convention centre in Delaware Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Remember what was happening with Georgia? Course you do! Sure it was only hours since we were all experts about the demographics of DeKalb County. 

Biden has extended his lead over Trump in Georgia even more – but the state is so close that it will be heading for a recount. As of right now, it’s 49.47% to Biden and 49.28% to Trump. 

I’m going to go from waiting for this speech in this room to waiting for it in another room, and leave you in the capable hands of my colleague Stevie McDermott, who will be covering everything that Biden says. If you’ve stuck with us this far then stay around.

I am off to search for everything I can find on exactly what happened with the Four Seasons Total Landscaping press conference that Rudy Giuliani gave today, which my colleague Gráinne mentioned earlier in the liveblog and which makes me laugh even thinking about it. Night, all. 

Thanks Christine. Stephen McDermott here to take you through the next hour or two.

If, like me, you’re starting your Sunday morning watching Biden’s first speech as US president-elect, get in touch with me on Twitter at @Ste_McDermott or via email at stephen.mcdermott@gmail.com.

For those of who have been following John King and the magic wall on CNN this week, the ‘Chairman of the Board’ has given an interview to the network about the election and his quickfire maths.

Despite the love for the wall, King joked that he’d have a couple of improvements for the feature when the next presidential election takes place in four years’ time:

“Espresso brewer on the left; beer tap on right? Maybe a calculator function so the world doesn’t get to see my messy scribble again.”

Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting an apparent climbdown from the Trump administration on whether the current president would peacefully hand over power to Biden.

A statement given to the broadcaster by the the White House said that “the President will accept the results of a free and fair election”.

It added: “The Trump Administration is following all statutory requirements>”

For those of you waiting for Joe Biden’s victory speech, it’s getting closer. His motorcade has just pulled into his campaign headquarters at Wilmington, Delaware.

A reminder that despite the projection in Pennsylvania taking Biden over the line, some states are still counting.

One of those states, Georgia, dramatically saw Biden take a razor-thin lead on Friday morning. In the last few minutes, a new tally has extended that lead to around 9,000 votes.

However, election officials have already announced a recount.

Vice-president elect Kamala Harris has arrived on stage in Delaware to the sounds of Mary J. Blige’s Work That’.

Harris opens her speech by quoting the late Georgia Senator John Lewis, saying “democracy is not a state; it is an act”.

“America’s democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it and never take it for granted,” she says.

“And protecting our democracy takes struggle, takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it, and there is progress, because we the people have the power to build a better future.”

She says the “very soul of America” was at stake during the election, thanking the Biden campaign’s staff for bringing more people than ever out to vote.

Harris also thanks vote counters for protecting “the integrity of our democracy”, as well as those who turned out to vote.

Harris pays tributes to Biden’s family, and her own mother who moved to the US from India at the age of 19.

“She believed so deeply in an America, where a moment like this is possible. I am thinking about her, and about the generations of women – black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women – who throughout our nation’s history have paved away for this moment tonight.”

Harris also lauds women who are often overlooked, but are the backbone of US democracy, from those who fought for their right to vote over a century those to those who voted in this year’s election.

“Tonight I reflect on their struggle, their determination, and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been. And I stand on their shoulders,” Harris continues.

She also praises Biden for helping make Harris the first woman to become US Vice President. 

“While I will be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” she says.

Harris finishes by saying herself and Biden are ready to heal divisions in the US, before introducing the president-elect.

Biden opens his speech by saying the people of the US have spoken and delivered his team a clear victory.

But he expresses surprise that there has been an outpouring of hope across the US and the world following his projected win.

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me,” he says.

“I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide, but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, but only sees the United States, and work with all my heart with the confidence of the whole people, to win the confidence of all of you.

“And for that, is what America I believe is about. It’s about people. And that’s what our administration will be all about.”

Biden pays tribute to his family and his running mate Kamala Harris, whose election as the second person of colour and first woman to vice president has been “long overdue”.

He also gives special thanks, on behalf of the nation, to election officials, as well as those who supported him.

He singles out the African-American community as standing up for him when his campaign was at its lowest ebb, saying he will have their back because they had his. 

On Trump supporters, he says:

Let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again.

Biden says his work starts with getting Covid-19 under control, saying he will name a group of leading scientists as “transition advisers” on Monday.

“I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment to turn around this pandemic,” he says.

Biden says he will work as hard for those who didn’t vote for him as those who did.

“Let this grim era of demonisation in America begin to end here and now,” he says.

He says partisanship is a decision, and if Democrats and Republicans can decide not to work together, they can decide to work together.

“I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America. We must restore the soul of America,” Biden says.

“Tonight the whole world is watching America, and I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. We will lead not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”

Biden closes by quoting the hymn You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, which he says was beloved of his late son Beau, and his grandparents.

“And he will raise you up on eagles’ wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, and make you the sign of the sun, and hold you in the palm of his hands,” he says.

He calls on the US to continue with full hearts, steady hands, and faith in itself.

“Let us be the nation that we know we can be, a nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed. The United States of America has never had anything we’ve tried and never been able to do.”

Biden also quotes his grandfather, who told him to “keep the faith” as a boy, and his grandmother who said “no, spread it”.

“Spread the faith, God love you all. God bless America, and God love our troops,” he ends.

There follows fireworks, dancing, flag-waving and a playlist featuring Hall and Oates, Tina Turner and Coldplay.

That’s probably as good a time as any to call it a night. A full update on the Biden and Harris victory speeches will follow on the website shortly, but for now, this is Stephen McDermott signing off.

Thanks for joining us, both tonight and over the last couple of days.

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Órla Ryan

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