US Election live updates: Joe Biden becomes 46th President of the United States

Joe Biden has defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th President of the United States.

After four days of painstaking ballot-counting across several battleground states, Biden, 77, has been declared the President-elect after flipping the crucial state of Pennsylvania, securing its 20 electoral votes by a razor-thin margin. 

The triumph marks a historic moment for Senator Kamala Harris of California, the first woman - and first woman of colour - on a winning presidential ticket. The Vice President-elect will become the first woman, first Black American and first person of South Asian descent to hold the role.

Biden is currently sitting on 279 electoral votes - 290 if counting Arizona - surpassing the 270 required to clinch the presidency, with Trump languishing on 214. 

The defeat of Donald Trump has made the one-term President the third since World War II to lose a bid for re-election - and the first elected President to lose a second term in more than 25 years.

Biden's victory has fulfilled the former Vice President's decades-long ambition for the presidency - his third bid for the White House finally proving successful.

What you need to know

  • Biden defeated President Trump after flipping Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground state, putting his total of Electoral College votes above the 270 needed to secure the presidency
  • It's a history-making moment for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who will become the first woman - and woman of colour - on a winning presidential ticket
  • President Trump has vowed not to concede the presidency, promising further legal action into his claims of fraud - and once again declaring himself the winner
  • Several states remain uncalled - Alaska, North Carolina and Georgia. Arizona has not yet been called by outlets such as the New York Times, but has been declared blue by the likes of the Associated Press
  • Biden is leading in Georgia, a Republican stronghold, Trump trailing by the slimmest of margins
  • In his victory speech, Biden pledged to be a President that unifies - that "does not see red states and blue states, but the United States", conquer COVID-19, and work towards reducing climate change
  • Running mate Harris delivered a stirring speech encouraging women of colour, young girls and children of immigrants to continue breaking down barriers
  • Outgoing President Donald Trump will remain in office until Biden is officially sworn in at his inauguration on January 20, 2021.

These live updates have finished.

8:30pm - The world has been fixated on the US election, with Biden's win earlier today dominating headlines in national and international newspapers.

8:15pm - Trump is set to face lawsuits and criminal investigations once his time is up as President.

Once Biden has been inaugurated in January, Trump will lose the protections the US legal system affords a sitting president.

Read some of the lawsuits that may haunt Trump once he leaves office here.

7:45pm - A spontaneous dance party erupted at a petrol station in New York earlier on Saturday night (local time), where the crowd sang and danced along to Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'.

7:15pm - Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu has tweeted a congratulatory message to Biden and Harris.

"Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Joe, we've had a long and warm personal relationship for nearly 40 years, and I know you as a great friend of Israel. I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel," he wrote.

"Thank you Donald Trump for the friendship you have shown the state of Israel and me personally, for recognising Jerusalem and the Golan, for standing up to Iran, for the historic peace accords and for bringing the American-Israeli alliance to unprecedented heights."

6:45pm - Sources inside the White House say they don't expect Trump to accept reality and concede in the future.

These sources say Trump is feeling embittered that he lost the race.

"He has no concession speech ready and no intention of recognising Joe Biden's presidency," a Republican source said.

Read more here.

5:50pm - Harris has shared a clip from her victory speech earlier today.

"I hope every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities," she wrote on Twitter.

5:40pm - Celebrations of Biden's win have continued into the night in New York City, with thousands of people dancing and cheering in the streets.

People gathered in Manhattan's Washington Square Park, where, according to the New York Times, some shared champagne, others waved Biden-Harris flags and some participated in drum circles.

Celebrations in Times Square.
Celebrations in Times Square. Photo credit: Getty Images
Celebrations in Washington Square Park.
Celebrations in Washington Square Park. Photo credit: Getty Images

5:05pm - Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, has reportedly approached the President about conceding the election, according to CNN.

4:45pm - Hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump rallied in downtown Phoenix on Saturday to contest Joe Biden's election as US president, charging the media with conspiring to steal the election and calling the results a "coup".

The Trump campaign lent support to protests questioning the current vote tally, filing a lawsuit in Arizona Saturday over rejected ballots that Arizona's Secretary of State said was "grasping at straws".

Trump's campaign alleged the Southwestern state's most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters in the US presidential race. The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an "overvote".

Pro-Trump protesters have been assembling outside the Maricopa County Elections Department and at the Arizona State Capitol for days, espousing unsubstantiated claims that Democratic operatives had interfered with the election to illegitimately deliver Arizona to Biden.

They have chanted "Count the legal votes! We are watching you!" outside the building where election workers continue to count votes.

Tensions escalated on Saturday, with protesters at one point threatening to take down the fence cordoning off the elections department and some media members from the group.

A number of far-right and militia groups such as the Proud Boys and Three Percenters were also in the crowd on Saturday, many armed with semi-automatic weapons.

Protesters at one point clashed with a small group of young counterprotesters waving Mexican and US flags on a corner across from the elections department. Jacki Valencia, 19, danced with a Biden-Harris sign as a man who had flown a "Blue Lives Matter" flag shouted "USA!" at her and others.

"I think it's ridiculous they've gathered here," she said. "They have no evidence there was fraud."

The Trump campaign's lawsuit contends that potentially "determinative" votes in the race between Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, who was declared the winner on Saturday by major television networks, were not counted.

An Arizona official rejected the lawsuit. "This is just a stalling tactic to delay the official canvass," Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said in a statement through her spokeswoman. "They are grasping at straws."

The Maricopa County Elections Department declined to comment.

Biden leads Trump by 0.44 percent, or 18,600 votes, in Arizona.

The Trump lawsuit, whose plaintiffs include the Arizona State Republican party and the Republican National Committee, cited declarations by some poll observers and two voters that claimed the problem led to rejected votes.

It seeks an order requiring a manual review of purportedly overvoted ballots that were cast in-person. It also asks a judge to bar the certification of the vote until the review is complete.

On Saturday, a group of voters dropped a lawsuit that had made unsubstantiated claims alleging some votes cast for Trump were not counted in Maricopa County because voters used Sharpie pens. The county last year rolled out new tabulation equipment that made Sharpie pens the best option on Election Day because they have the fastest-drying ink.

Hobbs' spokeswoman added that they "are reviewing (the latest lawsuit) now, but it appears to be a repackaging of the 'Sharpiegate' lawsuit. Hopefully, this puts the matter to rest for good".

- Reuters  

Supporters of President Donald Trump demonstrate at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The demonstration began at the State Capitol earlier in the day.
Supporters of President Donald Trump demonstrate at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The demonstration began at the State Capitol earlier in the day. Photo credit: Getty Images

4:20pm - A CBS journalist has pointed out that Biden's presidential victory on November 7 (local time) comes 48 years to the day after he first won his election to the Senate.

Biden won the 1972 Senate election in Delaware by just under 3200 votes, and he held that position for 36 years.

3:55pm - Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said Harris delivered her victory speech as the first Black and South Asian American woman in the year of the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Constitution's 15th Amendment.

The Amendment prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that person's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".

3:20pm - Biden has shared a compilation video thanking Americans for their efforts to secure him the presidency, a result that will oust Donald Trump and his Vice President, Mike Pence, from the White House in January.

"From the bottom of my heart: thank you," he wrote.

3:15pm - Following his stirring speech in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden has tweeted: "A nation united. A nation strengthened. A nation healed. The United States of America."

3:10pm - Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has praised Biden for delivering "inspiring words".

2:53pm - "I've always believed we can define America in one word: possibilities. I believe in the possibilities of this country.

"There's never been anything we're not able to do when we've done it together."

Biden has called on Americans to embark on the next steps with "full hearts and steady hands", with faith in each other and a thirst for justice.

"Spread the faith. My God bless America and may God protect our troops."

2:50pm - Biden has pledged to conquer the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States. On Monday (local time), Biden will name a group of expert advisers to put together an action plan blueprint built on "bedrock science" that will commence on January 20, 2021.

"Our work begins with getting COVID under control... on Monday, I will name a group of leading scientists and experts to help take the Biden-Harris pandemic plan and convert it into an action movement that will begin on January 20, 2021. That plan will be built on bedrock science... I will spare no effort, none, or any commitment, to turn around this pandemic," he said.

He said his heart goes out to the 230,000 Americans who have lost someone to the virus.

"Folks, I'm a proud Democrat but I will govern as an American President... let this grim era of demonisation in American begin to end here and now.

"It's about the soul of America... we must restore the soul of America."

2:45pm - "It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see and listen to each other again... stop treating our opponents as our enemies, they're Americans," Biden has declared.

"Now this campaign is over, what is our mandate? I believe it's this... Americans have called upon us to marshall the forces of decency, fairness, science, the forces of hope... the battle to control the virus, build prosperity, secure your family's healthcare, achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism, the battle to save our planet by getting the climate under control, the battle of historic decency, to defend democracy."

2:40pm - Joe Biden has now taken the stage.

"I'm humbled by the trust and confidence you placed in me. I pledge to be a President that seeks not to divide, but unify... that doesn't see red states and blue states, but the United States."

He has thanked his family and said his wife, Dr Jill Biden: "She will make a great First Lady, I am so proud of her."

He also acknowledged running mate Kamala Harris' historic achievement as the first woman to hold the Vice President role.

2:38pm - "To the American people. I will strive to be a Vice President like Joe was to Obama - loyal, honest, prepared, waking up everyday thinking of you and your family. Now is where the real work begins... to save lives and beat this epidemic, to rebuild our economy... to root out systemic racism in our justice system and society, to combat the climate crisis, to unite our country and heal the soul of our nation. The road ahead will not be easy, but America is ready - and so are Joe and I."

2:35pm - "While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last - every little girl watching tonight sees this is a country of possibilities. To the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message - dream with ambition, lead with conviction, see yourselves in a way others may not, simply because they've never seen it before. Know that we will applaud you every step of the way," Harris said.

2:28pm - Kamala Harris has taken the stage.

"Congressman John Lewis, before his passing, wrote: 'Democracy is not a state, it is an act'. And what he meant by that is that America's democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it - to guard it, never take it for granted. Protecting it takes struggle and sacrifice - but there is joy and there is progress in it. We the people have the power to build a better future."

The Vice President-elect has praised the American people for their "spirit" over the last four years.

"You chose decency, science and yes - truth. You chose Joe Biden as the next President of the United States of America."

2:05pm - As people from across the world prepare to watch Biden's victory speech, CNN's Arlette Saenz highlighted the significance of November 7 (local time) - the day he was projected President-elect.

"It was 48 years ago today that Joe Biden first won his Senate seat here in Delaware and now 48 years later, he's heading to the White House,” Saenz said from the Chase Center in Wilmington, where the President-elect will address the nation.

Biden's motorcade has been spotted arriving at the Chase Center in Wilmington.

Meanwhile, local media is reporting that Biden's lead in Georgia has been extended to 9160 votes. He is now sitting on 49.47 pct of the vote, compared to Trump on 49.28 pct, with at least 98 pct of the votes counted.

2pm - At any moment, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden will take the stage to address the nation following their victory as President-elect and Vice President-elect of the United States.

Biden and Harris will speak to supporters at a drive-in rally in Wilmington, Delaware. Footage from the scene shows elated, cheering fans - all of whom appear to be masked - congregated with American flags and blue glowsticks.

Watch the speeches in the livestream above.

1:50pm - According to the New York Times, the Trump campaign has filed a lawsuit alleging irregularities in some in-person voting in Maricopa County, Arizona, seeking to delay certification of results pending an investigation.

In a tweet, Marc E. Elias - an American lawyer specialising in election law, voting rights and redistricting - confirmed the latest Republican Party/Trump lawsuit in the state, writing: "They are headed towards 0-10 in court post-election."

1:35pm - Australian journalist Brett Mason, the chief political correspondent of SBS News, has tweeted that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will invite Biden to Australia next year to mark the 70th anniversary of ANZUS - the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty.

Issuing a statement on Sunday, Morrison said: "I join with other nation's leaders around the world in congratulating President-elect Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden."

1:25pm - Joe Biden is due to speak from Wilmington, Delaware - his city of residence - at 2pm (NZ time). Local media says supporters clutching red and blue glow sticks and American flags are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the President-elect.

1pm - The energy is "electric" in Washington DC, says CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who shared footage of Black Lives Matter campaigners dancing on the streets in the ongoing celebrations of Joe Biden's win.

Meanwhile, supporters of President Trump have rallied outside the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with one Republican voter telling the New York Times: "We are in a better place than we were four years ago."

12:30pm - Earlier on Saturday (local time), President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani alleged there is "enough evidence" to disqualify a "certain number of ballots" after the news of Biden's victory surfaced during his press conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"The ballots that were not properly inspected should be thrown out and that number of ballots should be taken out of the count. That could affect the election," a clearly taken aback Giuliani said after learning that TV networks had called Biden the winner of the election.

Giuliani and the rest of Trump's legal team appeared oblivious that Biden had secured Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, surpassing the 270 Electoral College votes required to capture the presidency.

"He's not going to concede when at least 600,000 ballots are in question," Giuliani told reporters. 

12:20pm - According to Washington Post's national political reporter Amy Gardner, the Trump campaign has not committed to put up the US$3 million required to pay for a ballot recount in Wisconsin.

"It is an indication that they're not super serious about pursuing one and that their announcements are mostly for show," the outlet's national political correspondent James Hohmann tweeted.

Washington Post reporter Jacqueline Alemany reiterated this, tweeting: "From a source close to the WH: The legal operation is designed for Trump to save face and ultimately give him the ability to say he didn't lose the election fair and square. So we’re going to roll with it."

"As someone with diehard Trump supporters in their life, I can tell you they believed it all. They bought the campaign's talk about shenanigans at the polls and they expect a fight. And they area going to be very bitter if the campaign just retires its debt and Trump shuffles off," NBC News contributor and Commentary associate editor Noah Rothman pitched in.

12pm - Supporters of President Trump - who will remain in office until President-elect Biden is sworn in at the official inauguration on January 20 - are rallying behind their leader as protests against the Democratic victory flare in major cities.

Footage from Phoenix, Arizona - a state declared blue by several outlets but yet to be called by others, including the New York Times - shows Trump voters congregating in support of the Republican President, waving flags, holding banners and chanting, "This isn’t over!" and "Stop the steal!"

From Atlanta and Tallahassee to Bismarck, Boise and Phoenix, crowds ranging in size decried the news of Biden's victory, AP reports, with skirmishes breaking out in some places.

In Atlanta, the state capital of Georgia, a longtime Republican stronghold, chants of "Lock him up!" rang out among an estimated 1000 Trump supporters. Others chanted, "This isn't over!"  and "Fake news!"

Meanwhile, Biden supporters continue to celebrate outside the White House, dancing, partying and parading in commemoration of the Democrat's triumph.

11:40am - President Trump has no plans to immediately deliver a concession speech that has become traditional in past elections, according to his aides, his campaign instead vowing to continue waging its legal battle.

Trump has so far refused to acknowledge that the race is over, maintaining his unsubstantiated allegation that the Democrats "stole" his victory in a "rigged" election.

As reported by the New York Times, advisers to the President do not believe Trump will block Biden from taking the helm - but noted he may be forced by mounting pressure to succumb to the inevitable and inform the American people that he accepts their judgement.

It follows a statement issued from Trump National Golf Club in Virginia earlier on Saturday (local time), in which Trump made the far-fetched claim that Biden was attempting to "falsely pose" as the presidential winner.

"The simple fact is this election is far from over," he said. "Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated."

11:20am - Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has shared a simple message to her fans and followers on Twitter, writing: "We did this - together."

11:05am - Broadcasters and media commentators have been pitching in their two cents about Biden's victory in a landmark election, with Fox News rounding out the last of the major cable news networks to make the announcement.

As Biden clinched the crucial electoral votes to surpass the 270 required to secure the presidency, ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos declared "the end of what may be America's most uncommon presidency".

Stephanopoulos' colleague, White House correspondent Jon Karl, said Trump - a former television star as the host of The Apprentice - saw the presidency as "the world's greatest reality TV show".

"He was the executive producer, the chief promoter, and the star of the Trump show. He captivated the world's attention unlike any political figure that we have ever seen... He up-ended Washington. He transformed the Republican Party. He disregarded political norms."

CNN anchor Jake Tapper called the outcome a "moment in history", concluding four "tumultuous" years of "extreme divisions" under the Trump administration.

"It's been a time of several significant and utterly avoidable failures. Most tragically, of course, the unwillingness to respect facts and science and do everything that can be done to save lives during the pandemic... with so many squandered and ruined potential, but also an era of just plain meanness," he said.

Trump has once again declared himself the winner of the presidency in a Twitter rant, continuing his unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud.
Trump has once again declared himself the winner of the presidency in a Twitter rant, continuing his unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. Photo credit: Getty

10:55am - Trump has broken his silence to declare that he has won the election in a Twitter tirade.



The social media platform has been quick to flag the President's tweet, warning users that Trump's claim of election fraud is "disputed".

10:30am - The announcement that Joe Biden successfully clinched the presidency is now emblazoned across every headline after days of nail-biting tallies, accusations of fraud and threats of legal action. Read what the world leaders are saying here.

Meanwhile, Leader of the National Party Judith Collins has congratulated Biden and Harris, calling for a free trade agreement and acknowledging New Zealand's "enduring relationship" with the US.

10:20am - CNN commentator, Van Jones, has broken down in tears in an emotionally-charged broadcast following the industry-wide announcement declaring Biden President-elect of the United States.

"It's easier to be a parent this morning," he said tearfully. "It's easier to be a dad. It's easier to tell your kids character matters. Telling the truth matters. Being a good person matters.

"This is vindication for a lot of people who have really suffered."

Jones, a former White House staffer under the Obama administration, touched on America's ongoing battle for racial justice and equality - a movement which gathered significant momentum this year following the killing of Black man George Floyd by a white police officer in May. The officer restrained Floyd by kneeling on his neck for roughly nine minutes.

"You know, 'I can't breathe'," Jones started, referencing Floyd's final, haunting words as he pleaded for air.

"You know that wasn't just George Floyd. That was a lot of people that felt that they couldn't breathe... you're worried about your kids, and you're worried about your sister... this is a big deal for us just to be able to get some peace."

Former First Lady Michelle Obama thanked Jones for "expressing the sorrow and relief that we all feel".

10am - President-elect Joe Biden's campaign manager, Jen O'Malley Dillon, has become the first woman to manage a winning Democratic presidential campaign.

The 44-year-old is also the second woman to have managed a winning presidential campaign, regardless of political affiliation. The first was Kellyanne Conway, who served in the role for the final three months of Trump's successful run against Hilary Clinton in 2016.

Dillon had served as the campaign manager for Beto O'Rourke, who unsuccessfully sought the 2020 Democratic nomination, but took over from Greg Schultz and Anita Dunn, Biden's former campaign managers, in April. 

"She is a master of both the brass tacks of traditional campaigning and the modern, digital ways of campaigning," said Ben LaBolt, a former colleague of Dillon. "Jen is a brilliant strategist who knows the battleground states like the back of her hands."

9:40am - Newly-minted Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta - the first woman in New Zealand's history to obtain the portfolio - has taken to Twitter to congratulate Biden and Harris.

"Kua ea, kua ea! Congratulations to Joe Biden & Kamala Harris on their historic election," she wrote.

Elizabeth Warren, a candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, has tweeted a stirring message of support for the winning duo, writing: "We face both hard-won victories and hard-fought losses in this election - but we can't be worn out. Meeting this moment was always going to require more than flipping seats from red to blue. We've got work to do."

9:30am - Donald Trump is reportedly making his way back to the White House after spending the afternoon at his golf course in Virginia.

Four hours ago, the outgoing President tweeted: "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!"

He has since re-shared an article from Breitbart - an American far-right syndicated news and opinion website - that he tweeted earlier in the day.

"Georgia Counties Using Same Software as Michigan Counties Also Encounter 'Glitch'... really bad," he wrote.

Journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted that Trump had no choice but to observe the Americans celebrating his defeat as he was chauffeured back to the White House.

"Trump watches celebrations of his defeat as he returns to the White House from playing golf on Saturday," he wrote.

According to reports, Trump was welcomed with boos, profanities, chants and raised middle fingers as he approached the White House.

9:15am - CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta has tweeted a tongue-in-cheek reference to the social media trend, 'how it started vs how it's going', as Biden supporters flood the streets in celebration of the Democrat's landmark victory.

9am - 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Senator Mitt Romney, has tweeted his support for Biden and Harris, writing: "We [he and wife Ann Romney] know both of them as people of good will and admirable character. We pray that God may bless them in the days and years ahead."

Romney is one of the key Republican lawmakers who has slammed President Trump for making the unsubstantiated claim that Democrats are attempting to "steal" the election. 

The Utah Senator - an outspoken critic of the Trump administration despite his political affiliation - has acknowledged that Trump is within his rights to request recounts and call for investigations where there is evidence of irregularities.

However, the President is "wrong to say the election was rigged, corrupt and stolen", Romney said on Twitter yesterday.

Trump's claim "damages the cause of freedom here and around the world... and recklessly inflames destructive and dangerous passions", Romney continued.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has also called Trump's claim of fraud "very disturbing".

8:45am - Dr Jill Biden - who will officially become the First Lady of the United States following the January 20 inauguration - has pitched in her two cents on the presidential outcome, simply tweeting: "He will be a President for all of our families." 

She also re-tweeted Biden's initial statement after being declared President-elect, which reiterated his promise to be "a President for all Americans".

8:30am - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken to Twitter to offer his congratulations to the new President-elect and Kamala Harris for her "historic achievement".

"The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security."

French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders have also issued their congratulations.

8:20am - Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, has shared a sweet picture of the couple in a congratulatory tweet.

"So proud of you," he wrote.

8:10am - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Biden and Harris on their landmark victory.

"The relationship between our two countries is strong, and I look forward to developing even closer relations with the incoming Biden Administration," Ardern said in a statement issued on Sunday morning (NZ time).

She noted that as Vice President under the Obama administration, Biden was a "close friend" of New Zealand and visited the country in 2016, the most senior American politician to do so since former President Bill Clinton attended APEC in 1999.

"New Zealand will continue to work side-by-side with the United States on the issues that matter to both of us, including the prosperity, security, and sustainability in the Indo-Pacific and Pacific Island regions," Ardern said.

"The campaign by the President-elect has also shown the shared interests we have in addressing global challenges like COVID-19 and climate change.

"There are many challenges in front of the international community right now, the message of unity from Joe Biden positions us well to take those challenges on."

Ardern also acknowledged New Zealand's "positive and cooperative relations" under the outgoing Trump administration.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Biden and Harris on their win.
NZ PM Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Biden and Harris on their win. Photo credit: Getty

7:50am - There are scenes of jubilation and elation across the US, with Biden supporters and Democratic voters flooding the streets in celebration.

Footage shared to social media shows Americans honking their horns, cheering, dancing and parading in commemoration of the historic victory in a landmark, nail-biting election. 

7:35am - Former President Barack Obama has offered his congratulations to Biden and Harris, sharing a statement to his official Twitter account.

"I could not to be prouder to congratulate our next President, Joe Biden, and our next First Lady, Jill Biden," he said, noting the duo's "historic and decisive victory".

He acknowledged Harris' "groundbreaking" election as the first woman, Black American and South Asian American to rise to the role.

Biden served as Vice President under the Obama administration.

7:30am - Messages of congratulations have poured in for Biden, notably from former Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016.

7:20am - Jubilant Biden supporters have started to celebrate his victory by taking to the streets.

7:15am- Donald Trump was reportedly playing golf when the news broke - he should have plenty more time to lower his handicap now. 

7:10am - After four days of counting, Joe Biden secured the states of Pennsylvania and Nevada - also securing him the presidency. 

It was arguably the most bitterly fought election in recent times, with outgoing President Trump alleging voter fraud and prematurely declaring himself the winner. 

Reports from the White House say Trump is unlikely to concede. CNN says Vice-President Mike Pence has distanced himself from Trump to avoid becoming embroiled in the controversy. 

7:07am - Biden is due to speak at 2pm (NZ time). 

7:02am - Newly-minted Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has released a video of the call she made to Joe Biden after learning of their landmark victory, capturing a moment of pure elation.

"We did it," she captioned the footage.

6:40am - "This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me," Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris has tweeted a statement.

"It's about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let's get started."

6:30am - Joe Biden has released a statement expressing his honour at securing the presidency.

"I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris,” Biden said.

"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."

6:20am - It's clear outgoing President Donald Trump will not hand over the reins of power without a fight, accusing Biden of "falsely" posing as the winner - despite Trump prematurely declaring victory, twice - and threatening more legal action. 

"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," Trump said in a statement.

"Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated."

6:00am - Joe Biden has beaten Donald Trump in the United States' presidential election. Biden flipped the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, its 20 Electoral Colleges votes enough to secure him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the winning presidential ticket. Outgoing President Trump will remain in office until Biden is inaugurated in 2021.