7 November 2012 Last updated at 11:37

As it happened: Election reaction


    Welcome to our continuing live coverage of the US election. President Obama is delivering his acceptance speech after being re-elected to a second term. We'll continue to bring you the best from our correspondents on the ground and all your tweets and emails. We've been following the story throughout the day and night - you can see our reports from earlier in the evening here.


    Obama is speaking in Chicago, shortly after a concession speech from Mitt Romney in Boston.


    "We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America," Obama says to a cheering crowd.


    "That's where we need to go - forward," Obama says, invoking his campaign slogan. "Progress will come in fits and starts, it's not always a straight path." He warns that there will not be an immediate end to the current gridlock in Washington.


    "I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever," Obama says. "Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual." Obama pledges to reach out to Republicans and work on problems politicians can only do together.


    Obama: "Despite all the hardship we've been though... I've never been more hopeful about our future, and I ask you to sustain that hope." He says it is not "wishful idealism", but that "stubborn thing that insists something better awaits us as long as we have the courage to keep reaching".


    Obama pledges to fight for an America in which everyone can make it if they try. "I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest," he says. "We will continue out journey forward."


    The crowd erupts in applause as Obama reaches the end of his remarks. His daughters and wife are on stage with him now, as is Vice-President Joe Biden who embraces the president on stage.


    Confetti cannons are firing all around the presidential entourage, amid a rapturous atmosphere in the arena.


    Here's the Obama family waving to adoring crowds as Barack Obama accepts his mantle of four more years as president of the United States.

    Barack Obama with his family on stage for his acceptance speech 7 November 2012

    Earlier, Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, and his running mate Paul Ryan appeared on stage in Boston after Romney conceded the race.

    Mitt Romney (left), Ann Romney and Paul Ryan on stage in Boston 7 November 2012

    The BBC's Michelle Fleury tweets: President #Obama: "We are not as divided as our politics suggest". First test - solving the fiscal cliff #election2012 @BBCNewsUS


    Moments after Obama finished his acceptance speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his congratulations: "The strategic alliance between Israel and the US is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama to ensure the interests vital to the security of the citizens of Israel."


    It's been a busy night for all of us, and you can get a tiny flavour of what we've been up to in this behind-the-scenes video filmed at the BBC's Washington bureau throughout election night.

    0224: Breaking News

    Alaska has been called for Mitt Romney, and its three electoral college votes bring Romney's total to 206. Just Florida left.


    Outside the White House, supporters have been celebrating Obama's win.

    People celebrate outside the White House, Washington DC 7 November 2012

    We've been receiving emails and reaction from around the world to the US election, from BBC News website users and from our reporters: Here's Adamu Muftawu in Accra, Ghana: I am glad at the way Romney admitted defeat. This is very rare on our African continent. It is a sign of democracy and maturity. Good luck to Barack in his second term in office.

    Maria Theresa Gonzales-Jarina in Tigbauan, Philippines

    emails: I wish to convey my congratulations to President Barack Obama and his party for this second-time victory to the White House. I hope to see a better America with good and honest leadership in the coming days. God bless!

    Sharron Benn, Brooklyn, New York

    tweets: President Obama's speech was for all Americans. I hope everyone paid close attention to the part saying "we must all work together".

    0249: Martin Patience BBC News, Beijing

    sends this from the Chinese capital: President Obama's victory comes just a day before the start of China's once-in-a-decade leadership change. So, for China's leaders the focus for now is firmly at home - and not across the Pacific. Yet relations between the two countries have been strained in recent years. With President's Obama re-election, there has been no change in the White House. But in the coming days, there will be all change in China. And that means Washington will be left trying to get the measure of China's new leaders.

    0303: Mohsen Asgari BBC News, Tehran

    sends this from Iran's capital: Many in Iran were concerned that a Republican win would mean war, while the victory of Barack Obama makes life safer for the people because the 5+1 countries as well as the US will move quickly to set up a new round of talks over Iran's nuclear programme. Pro-democrat figures in Iran believe Barack Obama is better prepared to continue on his path to make things right with Iran.

    Steve Rosenberg BBC News, Moscow

    tweets: Just called the Kremlin to ask 'Has President Putin congratulated President Obama?' Answer: 'Not yet'


    With much of the world now waking up to news that Barack Obama has won re-election, perhaps it's time for a recap of the night's events...


    After a day of voting across the US on Tuesday, Barack Obama has secured re-election with 303 electoral college votes. Mitt Romney conceded defeat and has just 206 in the bag, well short of the 270 he needed to win.


    With votes still being counted in several states, Obama has captured 49.9% of the popular vote, but holds only a narrow lead over Romney, who is on 48.6%. About 110 million votes have been counted so far. But of course, remember - the popular vote means nothing as the US election is a state-by-state contest.


    Meanwhile, in the Senate, where one-third of the seats were up for grabs, the Democrats have successfully held onto their majority. They currently hold 51 seats, with the Republicans on 44. Two indepdents have won seats and we await the results of the last three races, in Montana, North Dakota and Nevada.


    In the House of Representatives, Republicans will retain control, with Democrats gaining just two seats overall. That will leave us with an almost identical situation to the past two years, with a divided Congress and a Republican party bitterly opposed to the president. Will something give in Washington?


    Writing in the Financial Times, Jurek Martin says Republicans face a tricky situation now their nemesis has been re-elected. "With the country on the brink of the fiscal cliff, it is the Republican party which must decide whether or not to deal with a re-elected president whom it loathes, but has failed to unseat."

    Mark Jessup in Kirkland, Washington

    emails: As someone who has seen a lot of US elections and read a few history books about many more, I think that this result once again proves that our democracy works, sometimes in spite of ourselves.


    We're well into the small hours of the night here in Washington DC - local time 03:40 (08:40 GMT) - and Florida (29 electoral votes) is the only state that hasn't been called for either candidate. With almost 99% of votes counted, it's going down to the wire, possibly even tomorrow.


    Florida newspapers are now reporting that we will not have a result for the Sunshine State tonight. In part the delay has been caused by long queues and waiting times, which saw some polling stations were open past midnight.


    The Miami Herald also reports that there are 18,000 absentee ballots that need to be counted in Florida. So it seems it's a good move on our part to keep this live page going...


    CNN is now reporting that it will not declare a result in Florida before 12:00 EST (17:00 GMT) because vote-counting has stopped in a key county.

    Caroline in London, UK

    emails: Am I the only European not happy with an Obama win? Four more years of a president with a wavering, flaky foreign policy that will cause more damage in the volatile Middle East.


    The BBC's Paul Adams tweets: Senior Dem source tells me only person Obama called between winning and making speech: Bill Clinton. @BBCNewsUS #Election2012


    Also tonight: a raft of statewide legal issues decided by referendum. In Maine, Washington and Maryland voters approved gay marriage laws, while in Minnesota a ban on same-sex unions was rejected. Those four wins were the first time they had passed the ballot test in any state.

    Ben Smith of BuzzFeed

    tweets: Crazy. Real tectonic shift in marriage politics tonight. Hadn't won once at the polls, 4X tonight. Totally unexpected by both sides.


    Not everyone is pleased to see Obama re-elected either at home or abroad. Mehrdad in Iran emails: Obama's win will not be good for Iran because his moderate policy towards the Iranian government is disastrous for the Iranian people.


    Conservative author Ann Coulter - certainly no fan of Obama - tweets: I feel so sorry for Mitt Romney, but sorrier for the country that will never have him as president.


    Other wonder what comes next for the Republicans. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat tweets: Republicans need to win more Hispanics, more young people, more everybody. But they might start by figuring out how to win back Ohio.


    The Associated Press has just called a Senate race in Nevada in favour of the Republican candidate Dean Heller, avoiding the potential loss of another Republican Senate seat. There are now only one or two results outstanding from the Senate races.

    0428: French newspaper Le Monde

    : "The Republican electoral strategy did not work. The victory of Barack Obama, first and foremost, belongs to his strategists, who, under the complex electoral system that is in place in the US, managed to garner enough electoral votes without their candidate securing a decisive lead in the popular vote." Thanks to BBC Monitoring for that translation.

    0440: Mark Mardell BBC North America editor, Chicago

    This was an election campaign that had some extraordinary moments - but it was won by long, hard planning. In 2008, they built a coalition forged in the white heat of passion. The key appears to have been a big turnout of Democratic supporters - especially black people and Hispanics. The ground game paid off. Read more from Mark

    0444: Dick Meyer, BBC Executive Producer, America

    gives his take on the election: No incumbent since Roosevelt has held onto office amidst such a bad economy - not Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter or George Bush Sr. Bucking the tides of history, however, is not the same as earning the kind of mandate that will intimidate the opposition party. Read more from Dick


    By the time a winner was declared in the US on Tuesday night, it was already Wednesday morning in some parts of the world. Here, in New Delhi, India, some students react to the results of the election.

    Indian students react to US election outcome, New Delhi, India 7 November 2012

    Before the confetti has even been properly cleared from the convention centre floor, pundits are already asking what a second Obama term would mean for the rest of the world. Here's our region-by-region guide to the implications of tonight's result.

    Billy in Nottingham, UK

    emails: As an overseas voter, I was disappointed with the result. Obama's polices are meagre and all the hope and change he promised the voters never happened. It's a sad fact that he still blames the previous president when Bush in fact did much better on the issues of education and immigration.

    Matt in Columbus, Ohio

    emails: The Republicans - who insisted on disagreeing with President Obama to try to force him out of office - have failed. I strongly believe that this will be a wake-up call for the Republican party and encourage bi-partisanship in Congress.


    Well, Matt's desire to see bipartisanship in Washington is likely to be tested pretty quickly. The looming "fiscal cliff" - a combination of spending cuts and tax rises totalling more than $1tn (£625,000) - and another debt ceiling deadline will see to that. Will this term's crop of House Republicans remain as implacably opposed to the president as their immediate predecessors?


    The last remaining point of intrigue in the presidential election is the fate of Florida's 29 electoral college votes. The Associated Press now says 100% of the vote has been counted: 49.8% for Obama and 49.3% for Romney. But there is no declaration or final call yet. We'll keep you posted.

    0533: Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    offers another international perspective on Obama's win. Although he claims credit for ending wars, "turbulence in the Middle East means that military action, perhaps even new wars, will push back on to his agenda. Second term Obama is likely to authorise more support of the Syrian rebels, short of direct US military intervention. An even bigger decision awaits on Iran."


    One thing we do need to make clear: Russian President Vladimir Putin HAS now called Barack Obama to offer his congratulations. Earlier, our correspondent reported that the call was yet to be placed. But it has been made now, Steve Rosenberg says.

    Steve Rosenberg BBC News, Moscow

    tweets: Putin spokesman: Kremlin received news of Obama's victory "very positively"


    Back in the US, California Democrat Brad Sherman has won his congressional race against fellow Democrat Howard Berman. The pair - incumbents from the same party - were forced to contest the same seat because of congressional redistricting, which eliminated one seat, and a "jungle primary" rule that requires the two most popular candidates to face each other irrespective of party affilitation. Got that?


    The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that the re-election of Obama is "best described as the voters doubling down on hope over experience", adding that the Obama campaign's effective get-out-the-vote strategy was "the definition of winning ugly".

    Neelima June in Spokane, Washington

    emails: I'm hopeful that the Republican party will be more conciliatory, based on the gracious tone of Mitt Romney's concession speech. President Obama has already stated his willingness to meet with him. This may be the key that will open the door for this nation to reconcile its glaring differences and the idealogical divisions between the elected officials representing members of the privileged and the under-privileged.


    For a little more on the Berman-Sherman race, The Atlantic's Molly Ball penned an informative and enjoyable piece earlier this year on how the two men - who have worked side by side in almost every aspect of their careers - found themselves battling each other for their political lives.


    Oh - And in case you were wondering, former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has survived her re-election battle for a seat in the House of Representatives. She squeaked through with 50.5% of the vote - a lead of one percentage point over her opponent Jim Graves.


    It's just after 06:15 EST on the US East Coast (11:15 GMT): In a fairly convincing victory overnight, US President Barack Obama has been re-elected, but we are still waiting for confirmed results from Florida. Democrats retained control of the US Senate, and Republicans have kept the House of Representatives.


    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has congratulated President Obama by sending him the three-word message: "Four more years". He added: "I think he is the candidate to best express that there is a new America emerging."


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US Presidential Election 2012

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