Americans in Scotland prepare for election night

Across Scotland, thousands of ex-pat Americans are preparing to host all-night parties as their country goes to the polls - with many of them planning to stay up until the early hours as the votes begin to trickle in.

Americans living in Scotland plan to stay up all night to watch the US elections.
Americans living in Scotland plan to stay up all night to watch the US elections.

Some US citizens are planning house parties, others are attending a formal “election watch” organised by a US membership organisation, while many are planning all-nighters in their living rooms.

In Edinburgh, where the vast majority of the estimated 4,000-strong American population north of the border are based, the Scottish branch of Democrats Abroad is hosting an open event at a local pub - to which it is expecting to attract ex-pats from all around the country.

Penny Ciancanelli, secretary of the organisation, which has been working to register Americans to vote ahead of the election, said the party would be a stressful time for many members.

“I think everybody is going to be so nervous,” she said. “As Democrats, last week, we were feeling a bit relaxed, when it looked like a lot of the key states were firmly in Clinton’s column.

But the events of the past week have disrupted that, so we are now on tenterhooks.” She expects the event, at the Three Sisters Pub in Edinburgh’s Old Town, to attract at least 50 election followers, with many expected to stay up until the venue closes its doors at 5am.

Just a couple of miles away, the US Consulate is hosting a “politically neutral” celebration of the election.

The Consulate’s Principal Officer, Susan A Wilson, said up to two hundred US citizens and associates were expected to gather at the event, held at the University of Edinburgh.

She said: “It is a great tradition of the United States to celebrate the Presidential Election, a pivotal part of our democratic process, at our diplomatic posts overseas.

“We are especially pleased to be working in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, who will be hosting our election event this evening. So many of the Consulate’s friends and colleagues will join us as we celebrate democracy in action, and we are looking forward to an exciting event ahead of the result returns.”

American Erica Brooks, who moved to Scotland from California ten years ago, where she lives with her British husband, Adrian and their three year old son, cast her vote by post last week.

The couple are planning to stay up as long as they can. “Adrian has already taken the day off work on Wednesday in preparation,” she said. “Usually I’m excited about elections, it’s a fun thing, but this time, I’m just terrified. After Brexit, I just have no faith that you can predict what is going to happen.”

It is estimated that there are around 2,000 US citizens living and working in Scotland - with a similar number of students as temporary residents.

The first results will begin to be called at around midnight, UK time, while the earliest that a final result could be called is 4am.