President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, alongside vice-president elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. Source: President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, alongside vice-president elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff.

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US Election 2020

'Let's give each other a chance': US president-elect Joe Biden calls for unity in moving victory speech

Follow the SBS News live blog for the major updates from the 2020 United States presidential election.

President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, alongside vice-president elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. Source: President-elect Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, alongside vice-president elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Published , updated 8 November 2020, 5:31 pm
By SBS News
8 November 2020, 9:36 am

The moment Joe Biden heard the result

Joe Biden's granddaughter, Naomi, has shared a photo of the moment her grandfather learnt of his victory.

One for the family photo albums, you'd think:

8 November 2020, 9:33 am

'What a relief that you won': Malcolm Turnbull

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has expressed "relief" at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' win, capping off the succinct Tweet with a series of praying hands emojis.

Speaking to ABC's Insiders on Sunday morning, Mr Turnbull said he hopes the Biden administration will mean a return to "normal transmission".

"An administration that is going to be consistent, that isn't going to be, you know, making decisions by wild Tweets in the early hours of the morning, this isn't going to be walking out of global treaties and alliances, you know, discombobulating friends and foes alike," he said. 

Fellow Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd also weighed in on the developments in the US during the program, saying the peaceful transition of power will depend on two things: whether Mr Trump pits on his "big boy pants" and how the Murdoch press and Fox News handle the situation. 

8 November 2020, 9:25 am

Donald Trump says he broke record with '71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES'

Donald Trump has returned to Twitter after finishing off a round of golf, declaring he received "71,000,000 LEGAL VOTES ... The most EVER for a sitting President".

While technically true, it is also important to note that Democratic challenger received almost 75,000,000 votes - about four million more than Mr Trump in an election which saw record voter turn-out.

This makes Mr Biden the record-holder for the most votes received in an American presidential election. 

In the same set of Tweets, Mr Trump also repeated unfounded claims about "BAD THINGS" happening during the counting process and once again claimed he had won the election.


There has been no credible evidence put forward of widespread voter fraud, but that hasn't stopped the Trump campaign launching a slew of legal challenges to the results.

8 November 2020, 9:03 am

Trump campaign holds press conference at Four Seasons... landscaping

In one of the more confusing developments of the morning (you know, other than an incumbent American president refusing to accept the results of a democratic election), the Trump campaign has held a press conference in the car park of a small landscaping business.

President Donald Trump tweeted early on Sunday morning, AEST, that a "big press conference" would be taking place at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia, the largest city in deciding battleground state Pennsylvania.

Source: AAP

Former New York mayor and President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani fronted reporters alongside other campaign officials at the event, but one has to wonder whether they had in fact intended to book a Four Seasons hotel.

Whether it was a mistake, or intentional, the media conference - which discussed the Trump campaign's pending legal challenges in the state - went ahead against a backdrop of 'Trump 2020' signs. 

8 November 2020, 8:51 am

'American leadership is indispensable' to facing global challenges, says Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has issued a longer statement addressing the incoming Biden administration, stating that American leadership is "indispensable" to meeting the global challenges currently facing the world. 

He said he was looking forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden and his team on fighting the coronavirus pandemic, and resulting recession, developing a COVID-19 vaccine, and creating new technologies to reduce global emissions and confront climate change.

"The Australia-US Alliance is enduring and built on shared democratic values such as the international rule of law, respect for human rights and equality, freedom of religion and belief, freedom of expression and diversity of opinion," he said, in the statement on Sunday morning (AEST).

Source: AAP

"Our partnership goes back more than a century. Next year, our countries will celebrate 70 years since the signing of the ANZUS Treaty — the foundation of our security alliance."

Mr Morrison also thanked President Donald Trump, vice-president Mike Pence and secretary of state Mike Pompeo for their strong working relationship with Australia over the past four years, and said he would continue to work with them throughout the transition period.

"Australia has enjoyed a strong working relationship with the current administration, one that has seen the strength of our alliance continue to grow and deepen," the statement read.

President Trump has not conceded the election, instead declaring that he had "won this election, by a lot" in a post flagged by Twitter as inaccurate. 

But world leaders, including Mr Morrison, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have ignored his protests and pledged their support for a Biden administration. 

8 November 2020, 8:32 am

Through tears, CNN panelist shares emotional response to Joe Biden's win

CNN panelist Van Jones has broken down in tears on air during the network's rolling coverage of Joe Biden's historic presidential win.

Asked about his reaction to the result, the former advisor to Barack Obama said it was "easier to be a parent this morning, it's easier to be a dad".

"It's easier to tell your kids that character matters, it matters, telling the truth matters, being a good person matters," he said, wiping away tears.

"If you're Muslim in this country, you don't have to worry that the President doesn't want you here. If you're an immigrant, you don't have to worry if the President is going to be happy to have babies snatched away ... it's vindication for a lot of people that have really suffered.

"'I can't breath', that wasn't just George Floyd. That was a lot of people who felt that they couldn't breath."

Watch his full comments below: 

8 November 2020, 8:20 am

Now it's official, here's what you need to know about the next US president

After a long four days of counting votes, Democrat Joe Biden has now officially been declared the winner. So, who is he - and what will his presidency mean for America and the world? 

At 77 years old, he will become America's oldest ever president. He's also a veteran politician, having run for president twice before and served as vice-president under Barack Obama.

Source: Getty Images

He was raised in the rust belt town of Scranton, Pennsylvania - fittingly the state that delivered his victory - to working-class parents.

For President-elect Biden's story, read our full profile below:

8 November 2020, 8:02 am

Americans welcome first female vice-president

Supporters have gathered outside Kamala Harris' childhood home in Berkeley, California, to mark her history-making election as the first woman to hold the office of US vice-president.

8 November 2020, 7:58 am

Scott Morrison wishes Joe Biden and Kamala Harris 'every success'

And just as the last two posts went live, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also congratulated the incoming Biden administration.

"Australia wishes you every success in office," he wrote on Twitter. "The Australia-US Alliance is deep and enduring, and built on shared values."

See his full Tweet below:

8 November 2020, 7:55 am

Anthony Albanese congratulates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Australian opposition leader Anthony Albanese has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and incoming vice president Kamala Harris on their victory, acknowledging their policies on the pandemic and climate change. 

Read his statement below:

8 November 2020, 7:46 am

'Lots of work to do': World leaders react to a new US president

Leaders from around the world have responded to Joe Biden's historic win, calling for unity and a shared effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic and climate change. 

Among them was New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who said she looked forward to developing "even closer relations" with the incoming Biden administration. She said Mr Biden had been a "close friend" of New Zealand, and the most senior US politician to visit the Pacific nation since 1999 during his term as vice-president.

“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," she said in a statement on Sunday, AEST.

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

Mr Ardern also acknowledged the "positive and cooperative relations" she had shared with the US under Donald Trump.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also congratulated Mr Biden and Kamala Harris specifically on her "historic achievement" to become the first woman to serve as vice-president of the US. 

"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," he wrote.

In neighbouring Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was looking forward to working with Mr Biden and Ms Harris to continue the "unique relationship" between their countries. 

"Canada and the United States enjoy an extraordinary relationship – one that is unique on the world stage. Our shared geography, common interests, deep personal connections, and strong economic ties make us close friends, partners, and allies," he said in a statement. 

French President Emmanuel Macron said the leaders had a "lot of work to do" to overcome today's challenges, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel described their transatlantic friendship as "irreplaceable". "I wish luck and success from the bottom of my heart," she wrote on Twitter. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is yet to release a statement on this historic win. When he does, we will bring it to you here. 

8 November 2020, 7:30 am

Where has Donald Trump been this morning? Golfing of course

Donald Trump has spent the morning which saw his presidency come to an end golfing, leaving the course in Virginia a short time ago for the White House.

Hundreds of his supporters and those of President-elect Joe Biden gathered outside the Trump National Golf Club on Sunday morning, AEST, waving signs declaring "stop the steal" and American flags.

Source: AP

The incumbent President has refused to accept the media's projection of a Mr Biden win, instead falsely tweeting that he had "won this election, by a lot". In a statement, he vowed to continue a slew of legal changes and cast doubt over the legitimacy of the results. 

8 November 2020, 7:15 am

American politicians across the political divide rush to congratulate Joe Biden

Donald Trump has not rushed to congratulate his rival Joe Biden, but that hasn't stopped at least one other Republican from sharing his well wishes.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney - and one of Mr Trump's biggest critics from within the Party - shared his congratulations on Twitter, describing Mr Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris as "people of good will and admirable character".

Of course, Mr Biden's Democratic allies were also quick to celebrate his win, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who lost to Mr Trump in 2016.

"The voters have spoken, and they have chosen Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to be our next president and vice president," she declared on Twitter, describing them as a "history-making ticket" and the win as a "repudiation of Trump". 

Her husband and former US President Bill Clinton also congratulated the "momentous victory". "America has spoken and democracy has won. Now we have a President-Elect and Vice President-Elect who will serve all of us and bring us all together," he wrote.

Meanwhile, former president Barack Obama - who Mr Biden served under as vice-president - issued a lengthy statement calling for Americans to "give him a chance".

"The election results at every level show that the country remains deeply and bitterly divided," he said. "It will be up to not just Joe and Kamala but each of us, to do our part: to reach out beyond our comfort zone, to listen to others, to lower the temperatures and find some common ground."

Mr Obama acknowledged that his friend faced a "series of extraordinary challenges" as he takes office, including the raging coronavirus pandemic that has infected record numbers of Americans this week. 

8 November 2020, 6:50 am

Banging pots and fireworks: celebrations erupt across the country

Supporters of Democrat Joe Biden have banged pots, honked their car horns and set off fireworks as they take to the streets across the United States to celebrate a historic election result. 

Minutes after major television networks declared Mr Biden the winner following four nail-biting days since the election, hundreds of people streamed to the White House to celebrate outside a security fence as the sound of booming fireworks was heard in the distance, Reuters reports.

Here's a glimpse of what it looks like on the ground.

Source: Getty Images

Thousands have gathered at BLM (Black Lives Matter) Plaza near the White House to celebrate news that Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States.

Source: Getty Images

People celebrate outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where protests have erupted over the past few days as voting continued in the crucial battleground state.  

Source: AAP

Across the street from Trump Tower in New York, people took to the streets to celebrate the projected presidential win of Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

Source: AP

Joe Biden supporters, and a canine friend, celebrate outside Vaughn's Lounge in New Orleans. 

8 November 2020, 6:05 am

'We did it, Joe'

This election has been historic for a lot of reasons, including that Kamala Harris will become the first woman, and woman of colour, to become vice-president of the United States.

Ms Harris was born in California in 1964 to a Jamaican father, economics professor John Harris, and an Indian mother, Shyamala Gopalan, a leading breast cancer specialist and civil rights activist.

Source: EPA

This profile by my colleague Emma Brancatisano delves into how a daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants carved her path to the second highest office in the country. 

And here's the moment that became a reality. 

8 November 2020, 5:49 am

A message from the incoming First Lady

Jill Biden has shared a message following her husband's projected victory:

8 November 2020, 5:43 am

How Joe Biden and Donald Trump responded

Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have issued first statements after the media called Pennsylvania, and therefore the presidency, for the Democratic challenger.

Here is what Mr Biden had to say:

“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.”

President Trump has not conceded the election. Here is his statement:

“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."

8 November 2020, 5:32 am

What did we miss overnight?

As we've been reporting over the past few days, it all came down to Pennsylvania in the end. 

The Associated Press called the state for Joe Biden at about 3:30am, AEST, after his lead grew to more than 34,000 votes. This took him to 273 electoral votes, enough to win the presidency. 

But about half an hour later, the newswire also called Nevada for the Democratic challenger, extending his lead to 279 electoral votes. 

Votes in battleground states Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina are still being counted, but there is no way Donald Trump can win the presidency. 

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8 November 2020, 5:20 am

President-elect Joe Biden to speak at midday

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to address the nation at 8:00pm local time, which is midday here on the east coast of Australia. 

We will of course bring the historic speech to you live here in the blog. 

8 November 2020, 5:29 am

Joe Biden to be the 46th president of the United States

Good morning,

We are off with a bang this morning - we can finally bring you the news overnight that Joe Biden has been projected to win the presidency, after the Associated Press called Pennsylvania for the Democratic challenger. 

He also won Nevada, giving him at least 279 electoral college votes, ending Donald Trump's time in the White House after one-term. 

Kamala Harris will also be the first women to become vice-president of the United States.

My name is Maani Truu and stay with us this morning for the reactions from across the world.