1. ITV Report

Democrat Doug Jones claims shock victory in Alabama Senate race against Republican Roy Moore

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Democratic candidate Doug Jones has claimed a shock victory in Alabama's special Senate election after a tight contest against controversial Republican candidate Roy Moore.

The result is a bitter blow to President Donald Trump, who backed former Alabama Supreme Court judge Moore despite a series of historic allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls being made against them.

Mr Moore, who has denied all the allegations, refused to concede the election despite 99% of the vote having been counted.

Mr Trump tweeted his congratulations to Mr Jones, but the president later said he did not think Mr Moore would win.

Mr Jones' was the first Democratic Senate victory in a quarter-century in Alabama, one of the reddest US states.

"We have shown not just around the state of Alabama, but we have shown the country the way - that we can be unified," Mr Jones declared as supporters in a Birmingham ballroom cheered, danced and cried tears of joy.

Roy Moore has so far refused to concede defeat. Credit: AP

The victory by Mr Jones, a former US attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen responsible for Birmingham's infamous 1963 church bombing, narrows the Republican party's advantage in the US Senate to 51-49.

He will take over the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Addressing a sombre campaign party in Montgomery, Mr Moore raised the possibility of a recount and said: "It's not over.

"We've been painted in an unfavourable and unfaithful light. We've been put in a hole, if you will."

The victory will give momentum the Democrats as they look to take advantage of anti-Trump sentiment to mount a challenge to retake control of Congress in next year's midterms.

Mr Trump tweeted his congratulations to Jones for a "hard fought" win, adding that Republicans will have "another shot" at the seat soon.

The upset throws into question some Republican proposals, including a tax cut bill that is currently making its way through Congress.

Yet Jones' win may be viewed by many Republicans as a good outcome, fearful they would be tarred by the controversial Christian conservative who has expressed regressive views against gay people, women and Muslims.

"Tonight's results are clear - the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the US Senate," said Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who called on Mr Moore to quit the race weeks ago.