Political discussion over mushroom risotto and Jeremy Corbyn cardboard cut outs…
Last night I saw in the General Election 2017 result properly, heading to the top of the OXO Tower, dressed all in red, to watch events unfold over wine and good political conversation.
The General Election party was thrown by Britain’s Current Affairs & Politics Magazine, The New Statesman, with a guest list of authors, journalists and political figures, from Ian Hislop to Janet Street-Porter in attendance.
Decorated with past New Statesman magazine covers and life-size cardboard cut outs of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, there was no mistaking we were there to talk about politics. There was even a Donald Trump cardboard cut out being passed around the room – although that seemed to be used predominantly for drunk people to push over.
The party started outdoors, on the eighth floor balcony, just over the river with stunning views of the London skyline. Debating was difficult as essentially everyone had the same views, so as guests we just stood and excitedly agreed with each other as waiters circulated with trays of gourmet cheese burgers and mushroom risottos, washed down with OXO wine.
At 10pm we all gathered in the indoor OXO brasserie to watch as the Exit Polls were announced. As Labour was predicted to win 266 seats, the crowd broke into loud cheers and we all began hugging each other.
After the exit polls had been announced, we all spread out again, splitting off into groups, excitedly discussing how accurate the exit polls could be, and waiting for the official results to trickle in during the early morning.
The first official results to come in were from Houghton & Sunderland South at 11pm and Sunderland Central at 11.30pm – both Labour seats, seeing us all pause conversation to scream, cheer and hug each other yet again. There really is nothing like a whole room of likeminded and slightly drunk people united in excited anticipation.
Strings of results came in every half hour throughout the night, prompting discussion with the people around us. If you get the chance to go to a General Election party at some point, you must go, if only for the conversation.It is an incredible insight into the world of politics and the amount of knowledge in that room is unrivalled – we were essentially told what was going to happen before it happened by the people around us.
We headed home in the early hours, with a cardboard cut out of Jeremy Corbyn in our arms. Following the crowds leaving the party, we walked into the streets, glued to our phones as we watched the results come in – but thanks to our fellow guests, we already had an idea of what was to come.