Party politics on hold as Americans in Scotland celebrate democracy

Americans in Scotland, including Susan A Wilson, principal officer of the US consulate, pictured centre right, gathered to celebrate democracy ahead of the election results.
Americans in Scotland, including Susan A Wilson, principal officer of the US consulate, pictured centre right, gathered to celebrate democracy ahead of the election results.
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As Edinburgh University American history professor Frank Cogliano finished his address to the US State Department's official election night party in Scotland, the laughter around the room was tinged with a touch of hysteria.

"Good luck and God bless us every one," he told the group of 200 Consulate staff and invited guests in Edinburgh as the first results were due to be called on the other side of the Atlantic.

Although a "politically neutral" event held by the US Embassy to "celebrate democracy" - one of hundreds held by every US Consulate or embassy worldwide - even Consulate Principal Officer Susan A Wilson admitted that "some of us are a little tense".

"Tonight the US will elect its 45th president," she said. "Each campaign has its own ups and downs but it is fair to say that this one has attracted more attention than some of its predecessors."

Decked out in red, white and blue garlands and hats adorned with the stars and stripes, guests watched giant TV screens nervously for the initial indications from the US.

American themed snacks and drinks were laid on, while Scottish politicians including Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and SNP MSP Mhairi Evans were present.

A mock ballot of the non American guests at the event showed overwhelming support for the Democrats - with 64 votes in favour, comparedto just 14 for Republicans and one for President Bartlett from the West Wing.

Meanwhile, the excitement built and cheers echoed around the room as the first results at midnight showed Vermont, in favour of Hillary Clinton.

Myra Loomer, a US citizen who has lived in Scotland for eleven years, said most Americans felt they wanted to be with their compatriates on election night.

"It's important to be with people who understand the system," she said. "But one thing is for sure - we will wake up happy tomorrow morning: either because our candidate has won or because the wrong candidate has won but we are over here - not there."