Chris Christie, who fought against the arrival of equal marriage in New Jersey, has been re-elected governor of the state.

The Republican won 60.5% of the vote against Democratic challenger Barbara Buono’s 38%, with 99% of precincts reporting.

In October, Mr Christie abandoned his legal challenge against New Jersey’s same-sex marriage law – just hours after gay couples began tying the knot.

The 51-year-old had battled against introducing equal marriage without a referendum. 

America’s leading anti-same-sex marriage group, National Organisation for Marriage (NOM), accused Mr Christie of being “weak” and warned the decision would scupper the Republican’s chances among social conservative voters – if he decides to run for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination.

NOM President Brian Brian said: “Governor Christie’s decision to surrender on marriage reveals him to be a man who lacks the courage of his supposed convictions. As far as we are concerned, it’s a disqualifying failure. His surrender on marriage effectively surrenders any chance he might have had to secure the GOP nomination for president.”

Last night’s landslide places Mr Christie as a strong possible contender for the Republican 2016 nomination – showing he can win over moderates in a largely Democratic state. Mr Christie told supporters: “We have a big, big win tonight.

“I did not seek a second term to do small things. I sought a second term to finish the job – now watch me do it.”