Inn @ West End hosts election supper

By Gerry Price

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags West end Liberal democrats Social liberalism Labour party

Inn @ West End: election supper
Inn @ West End: election supper
Customers at the Inn @ West End are mostly true blue, although support for the Lib Dems rose as the campaign ground on, says Gerry Price.

Customers at the Inn @ West End are as likely to have a bottle of Claret as they are to have a beer and are mostly true blue, although you could sense support for the Liberal Democrats rising as this surreal campaign ground on.

For the first time I can remember, staff were talking about who to vote for; customers on early doors were discussing the leaders debates; apathy was replaced by a sense of popular engagement.

Politics became almost as important as football for a few short days.

Around 20 politically minded customers signed up for our election supper, expecting to witness a Tory majority or, at least, the sight of Gordon Brown making a resignation speech.

The evening was buzzing with excitement as customers called in, after voting, for a pint of Doombar or a glass of Douro, almost unanimous in this expectation that Gordon was a goner.

Around 10pm, the hardcore of politically-minded regulars assembled and at 11pm we were serving some superb Tempura Soft Shell Crab, Duck Egg Omelettes and Guineafowl Supremes.

As midnight came and went so did the South African Vinegar pudding and the Waterloo Cheese. The beer and wine flowed, hopes were high.

From a tied licensees point of view, I didn't know who I wanted to win. The Liberal Democrats offered the best hope for reform but all parties seemed bent on making alcohol the new tobacco and destroying the trade that we love.

By 1am, the first few results were in and there were no surprises. By 2am, some results were showing a trend pointing to no overall majority, by 3am the excitement amongst our Inn crowd had been replaced with resignation, but not the one they wanted.

As we cleared up and the last of them left, I reflected that the only clear winner on the night was the food and drink party.

For the country, there was no clear winner at all.

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