Republican Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock (Images: EPA, AP)

Barely recovered from November's bruising presidential election, the southern state of Georgia is returning to the polls on January 5 for possibly the most consequential runoff election in US history. The polls close at 11am on January 6, Australian Eastern Standard Time.

The runoffs for the state's two Senate seats were triggered after no candidate received more than 50% of the vote on November 3. If the Democrats are able to win both seats, they will gain control of Congress.

The candidates

Incumbent Republican David Perdue, a 70-year-old former Reebok executive, is being challenged by 33-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff.