As the first states were called in an election that increasingly turned in Donald Trump's favour, Londoners from all backgrounds settled in for a night of tension and celebration. IBTimes UK went down to all-night events in the capital to see how people reacted to the historic news.
In Shoreditch's Dinerama, Trump supporters were in short supply but costumes were not. Women dressed as Suffragettes, hoping to see the first female president elected; others tried to cram as much American flag on their body as they possibly could.
Early in the night, Ryan, a Boston native who'd moved to the UK with his husband, Axel, expressed worry about a looming Trump win though stuck to his hope for a Clinton presidency. He also, like many, made links between the UK's unexpected Brexit vote and Trump's popularity: "I'm seeing a lot of parrells between the Brexit campaign and this campaign – there's a lot of, frankly, on the Trump side, anti-immigrant bias and that's really what's running this campaign."
Axel, a French national, had lived in Boston for two years. He said that what he saw in Trump was "not the America I've known", though admitted that he'd only known Boston, in the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts.
At the Kensington Hotel, in the affluent west of London, revellers were more reserved in K-Bar, a swanky cocktail venue. Darren Gibson, an Irishman working in the financial services, voiced the worries of countries outside America – just how would the next US president affect the rest of the world? "I'm Irish, we obviously have huge influences from the United States, also from Europe." Gibson worried about the Irish population in the US. With Trump's comments about immigrants, could Irish emigres start to feel marginalised in ways they haven't experienced for decades.
The largest of the gatherings happened at Riley's Sports Bar on Haymarket where the Conservative Progress group and Parliament Street think tank came together to hold a bash until the early hours. Boisterous Trump supporters yelled "change!" while Clinton fans looked on despondently towards the ever redder CNN screen.
"Everybody thought that it was Clinton's in the bag but tonight has proved that to be very wrong," one of the organisers told us, sporting a Trump /Pence sticker on his lapel. The negative market reactions did nothing to phase him either: "As we saw with Brexit, the sun does come up the next day and I think what Donald Trump will do for the American economy will be absolutely amazing."
As the night rolled on and networks delayed calling the results further and further, the numbers dwindled, a few fell asleep on chairs. Another American expat, Sidra from San Francisco, expressed shock at the number of British Trump supporters at the event. She had arrived in the UK just as Brexit was called, now she was watching Trumptons ruin the childhood ideal of Britain that had brought her to London in the first place.
At 6am, with staff combing the bar for stragglers to throw out, a few called out that they were going to a casino up the road. But the casino was quiet and its bar had closed, presumably enough was being gambled on already.