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You may struggle for atmosphere with pubs & restaurants.

The "excitement" of the results coming in won't start until around midnight - and is likely to be at its most entertaining/interesting between 1 and 3am.

I'll leave it to others with a better knowledge of the capital to see what they might come up with.

John Hartley

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The Portillo moment was mid-afternoon

We decided that was enough fun for one evening and went to bed. :laugh:

Can't wait for a couple more moments like that this time around.

John Hartley

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To keep this (just) on a food theme..... The Portillo moment will only be matched this time if Charles "Two Pizzas" Clarke goes the same way. Of all the leading politicians, of whichever party, he tops my "nausea list". At least he does, when it's not topped by Hazel Blears.

John Hartley

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I'm an American, and I'll be arriving in London on election day.

Where would be an ideal place to soak in the election night atmosphere? I'm staying in Clerkenwell....

Interesting question.

But it does pre-suppose that there is much "election night atmosphere".

You could be disappointed.

I was in Paris when Chirac was elected President.

The 'result' was announced on tv, barely seconds after the polls closed.

And the Champs Elysée was full (as in impossible to drive down, even though its a wide road) with celebrating crowds in a matter of minutes.

We don't do things like that here.

I was on a Greek Island for one of their General Election days. (Vote where you were born, I believe.) They celebrated with cars screaming round the streets, horns blaring. And fireworks.

Not the British way.

Our results come in through the night and the following day.

This year there are more than 20 constituencies predicting that they will declare after 12 noon on Friday.

With the result likely to be tight (or at least tight as to whether there's an overall majority), it would be surprising if there's a clear resolution much before lunchtime. (Got to maintain the food theme...)

Interesting central(ish) London constituencies include Battersea (if the Conservatives can't take that one from Labour, then they are going to be very disappointed) and Islington South (LibDems expecting to take it from Labour). Battersea should be an early declaration, about 1 am according to The Guardian. 4am for Islington South.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/apr/29/election-2010-constituency-declaration-times

Holborn & St Pancras (convenient for Clerkenwell but about 6am) could give Frank Dobson a famous opportunity for retaliation or schadenfreude, however the general population will be fast asleep.

Clerkenwell (where Eastgate is staying) is partly in Islington South, and partly in Holborn & St Pancras.

Incidentally, if Harters wants to see whether Mr Clarke can defend Norwich South against the LibDem tide (24th target seat) he'll probably have to stay up until about 2am.

There's a bit of a buzz at the various counts and declarations, though admission might be difficult. And the weather outside will be cold.

Food is highly UNlikely to be attractive.

Drink may have been taken. (Beforehand.) And bought at a supermarket.

Best to make sure of a comfy chair, a warm blanket and a TV set or perhaps two (to appreciate just how good the BBC coverage is - apart from some silly computer graphics) and maybe even a radio (sparing you the graphics).

A few bottles and the menus (with phone numbers) for some local ethnic latenight takeaways should complete the picture.

You might want to have a look at Downing Street, College Green outside Parliament, LibDem HQ in Cowley Street, Tory HQ in Smith Square and Millbank for Labour (all within about a 400 yard walk) on Friday, to see the media scrum in action. But again, food and drink are not included.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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The probable lack of atmosphere is less to do with it not being the British way (you only had to be in Liverpool when LFC won the Champions League to see how we are more than up for celebrating in the pubs and on the streets as soon as a game has finished) and more to do with the fact that the results just trickle in, and we won't know much till the early hours of the morning, as others have said.

It might be a good idea to find out what pubs near to where you are staying have televisions, and whether any of them will be having election special nights. I usually have friends round to our house, and I think many others do the same, but there will be some pubs open all night for the results. Whether or not there will be an atmosphere worth soaking up will depend on two things - the luck of the draw (some places/groups of people will never generate much electricity) and who is winning vs the political views of the customers!

Clerkenwell has more of a local/neighbourhood type feel than other parts of Central London, so you may find a good local boozer to see it all unfold.

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The probable lack of atmosphere is less to do with it not being the British way (you only had to be in Liverpool when LFC won the Champions League to see how we are more than up for celebrating in the pubs and on the streets as soon as a game has finished) and more to do with the fact that the results just trickle in, and we won't know much till the early hours of the morning, as others have said.

...

Perhaps I should have said "its not the way the vast majority of people feel about politics in Britain". (Particularly at this election, after the scandal of MP's expenses.)

In the UK, its simply not something widely celebrated with flowing food and drink, public rejoicing, etc.

No question, it can be different if you happen to be a politician or activist.

But for the general public, no, not really.

Hey, I was in San Francisco when Willie Brown was elected Mayor.

There was an organised public celebration. Everyone, even if foreign, was welcomed to the party.

Restaurants ran booths handing out tasters. There was drink too.

Carlos Santana, John Lee Hooker and many others gigged in celebration.

But in London, Boris's 'do' was private ...

As MacD says, there is indeed much more "atmosphere" associated with football ('soccer').

And if Eastgate is still in London on Sunday, the neighbourhood of the Chelsea ground should be 'atmospheric' after about 6pm on Sunday, when Chelsea might have won the Premiership, or not.

I suspect very many more pubs are publicising that event than election-night-opening.

But the celebrations will be in either Manchester, or Chelsea. Not both.

And definitely NOT in Liverpool!

In Britain, we do riot very very very occasionally, and about both politics and football.

This election might see some disturbances around some of the East London declarations. The BNP and Respect both attract active 'controversy'.

But regarding celebration, and particularly excessive and enthusiastic consumption of food and drink?

Come back when the World Cup is in progress and make your own comparison!

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I can't comment on whether it will be any good, but there will be an election party in the Sports Cafe on Haymarket, not too far from Trafalgar Sq. Apparently both the BBC and Sky are planning to broadcast from there. Tickets are a silly £25.

details at http://www.bigelectionparty.co.uk/

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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