Donald Trump edging closer to Republican nomination

Donald Trump has soared to sucesss in five crucial primary contests in a move that cements his status as the Republican frontrunner and the party's most likely presidential nominee.

Quickly after polls closed on Tuesday night in the five states - Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland and Connecticut - a major US broadcaster called him as the winner in all of them.

It also projected former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to have won at least two states.

CNN said that Mr Trump was on course to secure a healthy haul of delegates. It also said Ms Clinton was going to win Connecticut and Delaware.

For the Democrats, a total of 384 delegates were available to be divided proportionally between the two candidates, Ms Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The biggest prize was Pennsylvania, which has 189 delegates.

Ahead of voting, Ms Clinton had led the Vermont senator in Delaware by 21 points, in Maryland by 24 points, in Rhode Island by around 3 points, in Pennsylvania by 17 points and had an advantage in Connecticut of 6 points.

In the Republican race, Ted Cruz and John Kasich are trying to stop Mr Trump securing the 1,237 delegates he needs to tie up the party's nomination ahead of the convention in July.

Many believe no candidate will do so, opening the way for a so-called contested convention in which Mr Trump's opponents would seek to block him. Mr Trump currently has 845 delegates, ahead of Mr Cruz on 559 and Mr Kasich on 148. On Tuesday, a total of 118 Republican unbound delegates were up for grabs.

An average of polls collated by Real Clear Politics ahead of voting had put the tycoon 25 clear in Rhode Island, 17 points clear in Maryland, 19 points clear in Pennsylvania, 26 points clear in Connecticut and as many as 37 points ahead in Delaware.