NEWSFLASH: Halfway Gone, All Eyes On Ohio
Halfway through the official vote count with 60 million votes counted, and approaching midnight EST, President George Bush is showing a slight lead in the overall vote but the final result in the US Presidential election remains far from clear.
That said with Bush ahead in both Florida and Ohio the picture is looking far better for Bush than it looked after the exit polls.
Moments ago ABC news projected Florida for Bush and CNN has reported that a well placed Kerry source is expecting a loss in Florida. CNN has however not yet projected Florida to Bush saying the spread, presently around 300,000 votes, is not large enough yet.
Last time round this bush, in 2000 ,projections of Florida to Bush at around this time in the evening were - very embarrassingly - later reversed by the networks. However in 2000 the margin to Bush was closer to 30,000 than 300,000 votes.
All eyes are now on Ohio with the Kerry camp saying they are still expecting to win the crucial state which now seems likely to hold the key to this election.
Most of the major US TV networks have projected the expected states on both sides of the ledger to go where they were expected to go before the election.
In the crucial so-called "battleground" races there are not yet clear winners in most states with the exception of Pennsylvannia which has been called to John Kerry.
As of 11.30pm EST the following were the provisional results in the outstanding states.
% Of Precincts Reporting 97
% Of Precincts Reporting 58
% Of Precincts Reporting 28
% Of Precincts Reporting 51
% Of Precincts Reporting 41
% Of Precincts Reporting 6%
KERRY IS LEADING IN….
% Of Precincts Reporting 65
% Of Precincts Reporting 31
% Of Precincts Reporting 29
% Of Precincts Reporting 49
% Of Precincts Reporting 3%
% Of Precincts Reporting 48