In London, standing by for election news


All over London tonight, homesick Americans are gamely holding election parties — serving beer and what the British call “crisps” — in rooms dominated by large television screens with the volume turned way up. There will be lots of talk about exit polls, swing states and key counties. Unfortunately, there will be no actual news whatsoever here until well after midnight, when East Coast polling stations finally begin to close. Doesn’t seem as if there will be anything meaningful until well after that — maybe 3 a.m., 4 a.m.? — and probably nothing really interesting until the morning. 

How much fun can these election-night parties be? And why don’t ex-pats have election-morning breakfasts instead? I’ve asked a friend to call me at 1 a.m. East Coast time – which is 6 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time — to tell me if anything is happening, and if it isn’t, I’m going to go back to sleep.

Anne Applebaum writes a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post. She is also the Director of the Global Transitions Program at the Legatum Institute in London.

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