Americans are going to the polls to elect the 45th US president. Some of the results are in. Here’s what to watch out for as the rest of election night unfolds.
The 50 states and Washington DC voted across six different time zones throughout Tuesday, 8 November.
But it’s not just winning the popular vote that counts. The US’s complicated system is a race to secure 270 out of the 538 votes in the electoral college.
Many of the polling stations have closed. So far:
Ohio is a bellwether swing state that has backed the winner at every presidential contest except one since World War Two.
The BBC relies on projections by its US-based partner broadcaster ABC, because it can take days for all the ballots to be counted.
As for the final result? Stay glued to your phone or TV or set your alarm for 23:00 EST (04:00 GMT). That’s when West Coast polls close and history suggests a winner’s declared. It was bang on the hour in 2008, and 15 minutes later in 2012.
Polls have closed in North Carolina (15), Florida (29) and Pennsylvania (20), but we have no results for them yet.
North Carolina defines the American divide.
“It’s seen an influx of newcomers. Many of them lean Democrat. But poor white voters tip North Carolina’s rural areas towards Donald Trump,” says the BBC’s Katty Kay. The state could be an early indicator of which way the election is going to go.
The key battleground of Florida, which is crucial to the fortunes of any presidential contender, has closed and could come in soon too.
The state voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, but George W Bush won it in preceding elections – by just 537 votes in 2000. However, that year it took 36 days for Bush to be certified as the winner, as the vote triggered a recount and legal showdown, so if it’s close don’t expect an announcement for a while.
If Trump does not win Florida and Ohio, his chances of a victory will be slim.
We should hear soon from Pennsylvania, which has swung for the Democrats in the previous six elections. It will be a big blow to Clinton if she doesn’t win here.
New Hampshire (4) will be eagerly watched as the polls suggest it’s a dead heat.
The starkly divided state of Colorado (9), which has a growing Latino population but a strong conservative streak, will be a key state to watch this hour. Historically, it’s one of the most widely swinging battleground states, casting its vote for Republican George W Bush in 2004 by a higher percentage than the nation as a whole, but then doing the same thing for Democrat Barack Obama four years later.
The industrial Midwestern state of Michigan (16) could also cause an upset. Voters there haven’t supported a Republican for president since 1988, but a backlash against globalisation has turned the state’s heavily populated white, non-college-educated voters to Trump.
Keep an eye on Wisconsin (10), which hasn’t gone Republican since 1984. Trump has been making a last-minute push to turn the state red.
New Mexico (5) used to be seen as a swing state but Democrats have won five of the past six presidential elections and Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and repeated vows to build a wall along the border should hand it to Clinton this time.
Historically Republican Nevada (6) looks like it could be a nail-biter, as early voting suggests a Hispanic surge could turn out for Clinton. It’s a similar situation in Arizona (11), which has voted Republican in every election since 1952 with the exception of Bill Clinton’s win in 1996.
Utah (6) is another interesting one to watch. Former CIA agent and Mormon Evan McMullin, who is running as an independent, is doing well in the polls and could be the only state to hand a loss to both Clinton and Trump, despite backing Republican candidates in the past.
Iowa (6) is a must-win for Trump, given his strength among white, non-college-educated voters, but it voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 so it’s not a done deal.
Montana (3) has been safely Republican since 1968, bar a single victory for Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.