Even with the relief and elation among Democrats that Joe Biden will now, almost certainly, become the next President of the United States, there is cause for liberal humility. Certainly, Biden’s achievement, should he finally triumph over Donald Trump later today, cannot be underestimated – he would be the first challenger to unseat an incumbent president since Bill Clinton in 1992, and the first to do so with a majority of the popular vote since Ronald Reagan in 1980.

And yet, despite the Republicans fielding an unpopular and controversial candidate, and against the backdrop of a pandemic that has claimed the lives of some 234,000 Americans, the result was still uncomfortably close. The anticipation of a crushing landslide quickly dissipated throughout the uneasy hours of Wednesday morning as it became clear that the Republicans will now retain control of the Senate while the Democrats have suffered losses in the House.