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US election: Ted Cruz wins Iowa Republican vote

February 2, 2016 4:17 am

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has won the Iowa Republican caucuses, the first vote of the US 2016 presidential election.

Businessman Donald Trump was leading in polling ahead of the vote but is likely to finish in second place.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio appears to have performed far better than expected, and will probably finish in third place.

Votes in the Democratic race are still being counted.

With 85% of results in, frontrunner Hillary Clinton and self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders are less than 1% apart.

Speaking after the results, Marco Rubio congratulated Mr Cruz and said he was the candidate who could unify the divided Republican party.

Just minutes after that, Mr Trump took to another stage where he too congratulated the Texas senator, and said he was “honoured” by the second-place finish.

At least two candidates are dropping out following the results.

Sources close to Democrat Martin O’Malley, former Maryland governor, have told the BBC that he will suspend his campaign – narrowing the field to two competitive candidates.

On the Republican side, Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted that he too would suspend his campaign.