Britain votes: PM Theresa May wins cocktail battle in London bar

A view of the outside of the Blue Boar Restaurant in Westminster, London, early in the morning of June 9, 2017. PHOTO: AFP
Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May holding her poliing card as she arrives to vote in Sonning. PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) - At the Blue Boar pub in Westminster, Theresa May cocktails were in the lead on election night, even if a shock exit poll suggested the British prime minister had lost her overall parliamentary majority.

Staring up at an array of television screens as if watching the football, well-heeled punters sipped election-themed cocktails in one of many political late-night parties in bars up and down the country.

As the night wore on, waiter Mickael said Theresa's Kitten Heel Fizz - a Conservative blue mix of champagne and curacao - was well ahead of Corbyn's Reign, comprising vodka and strawberry juice in Labour red.

"The Theresa cocktail wins by a landslide," he said.

As the exit poll announcement loomed, punters clustered around the screens and conversations fell silent.

When forecasters suggested no party had won an overall majority, some lowered their heads in disappointment while others were jubilant.

The poll showed the Conservatives falling from 330 to 314 seats, short of an overall majority. Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party was second but estimated to be on course to increase its number of seats from 229 to 266.

"I am super, super happy!" said Sarah Holmes, 26.

"It is such a payback for me. In 2015, these guys were cheering and I was crying and now I'm cheering and they are crying," she said.

"We managed to hold the Tories off, and also we're gonna get rid of Theresa May," she said, as speculation grew that May would have to resign if the exit poll was confirmed in final results.

"Now? It's time to get drunk!" Holmes said.

But other bar-goers in this wealthy central London constituency were in a despondent mood.

Chris Douse, 28, said the result of the exit poll was "pretty shocking".

"I was anticipating over 100" as a majority for the Conservatives, he said.

"I was quite bullish. I was fairly confident that the polls were wrong," he added.

"If the Conservatives maintain a majority, I'll be happy. But if there is a hung parliament, it is probably the worst situation for Britain." Helene Thomas also said it was a "shock".

"We have a whole evening to go through and it could be uncertain, but it's looking pretty bad right now.

"I feel my worst nightmare came true.

"It will be a very long night, we'll have to see how every single seat comes in.

"I will drink all along the night. We are British, so, you know how it goes."

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