Donald Trump losing popular vote to Hillary Clinton as final US election results come in

The Republicans have only won the popular vote once since 1988

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The Independent US

Hillary Clinton has won more votes than Donald Trump, but there is no chance that she will become the new president.

The Democratic candidate looks almost certain to win the popular vote, with the final ballots left to be counted. The margin is small – with only 0.2 percentage points between the two candidates – but Ms Clinton is winning and looks set to continue to do so.

On the morning after election night, Ms Clinton had collected 59.4 million votes, giving her a 47.7 per cent share, while Mr Trump had 59.2 million votes and a 47.5 per cent share. That was with around 92 per cent of the vote counted, with many of the remaining votes to be totted up from pro-Clinton states like Colorado.

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But because of the way that the electoral college works, Donald Trump is set to win a comfortable victory in the election. That is because Ms Clinton was very close in many of the most influential states, like Florida and Texas, and won some small states such as Vermont very comfortably.

The Republican candidate has only ever won the popular vote once since 1988, when George W Bush was re-elected as President in 2004. As such, this year's election would mark the second time that a Democratic leader has won the popular vote but failed to become the president, because the same thing happened to Al Gore in 2000.

The gap between the two different measures of popularity have proved controversial in the past, notably in 2000 when the closeness of the results provoked anger and a succession of legal challenges.

The electoral college means that the number of votes each candidate gets only roughly correlates with the winner. What actually matters is the number of electoral college votes that each candidate gets – meaning that all that matters is the number and size of the states that each candidate has a majority in, rather than the size of that overall majority.

* Update: This article previously stated that George W Bush won the popular vote in 2000. In fact, it was in 2004 - when Bush was re-elected - that he gained the majority of the popular vote. 15/11/16