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I Spent A Night With Glasgow Voters Celebrating The SNP Win And This Is What I Learned

The most patriotic drink in Scotland is officially a Spoons Blue Lagoon.

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With the SNP predicted to win almost all of the Scottish seats in the general election, I headed to Glasgow to chat to people as the results came in.

On my way to Glasgow to cover some of the election antics there for @BuzzFeedUK and keeping things very much on brand

What would I find? It was quite hard to know what to expect. A lot of people were predicting a referendum-style party atmosphere, but it was a Thursday night and results weren't due to start trickling in until the small hours.

There was a bit of discussion on Twitter about a possible rally in George Square.

So what's the plans? We all heading to George Sq for a party about 4am?? #SNP #GeorgeSquare #GE2015

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But it seems no one got the memo.

Couple of guys from Press TV setting up in George Square, being heckled by a couple of onlookers...they love it.

These guys from Press TV came all the way from Tehran to film a rally, and ended up filming two guys swearing at pigeons instead.

But there was one place where the bass was thumping, the party was jumping, and the opinions were pumping.

This is Yes Bar in Glasgow city centre, not far from George Square. It used to be called Vespbar but was renamed during the referendum. It's now a lively, friendly political talking-shop with slogans like "The Dream Will Never Die" painted on the walls. And – even more importantly – good pizza. It was going to be a long night.

Yes Bar was pretty busy...and loud.

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Everyone was VERY EXCITED...

...especially these guys.

James Chapelard

Stephen (32) and Francesca (27) had been to a wine tasting before heading to the Yes Bar. "It was just £10 at Zizzi. We're a bit drunk."

Stephen: "I voted SNP today to give Scotland a voice. I don't think the referendum achieved that as I feel like towards the end of the referendum the other parties were getting nervous and were trying scare tactics, 'If you don't vote no this will happen and this other terrible thing will happen', and they were throwing everything at us..."

Francesca: "...And they also came to Scotland and said, 'If you say no we'll give you these things', and nothing came from that and people feel really betrayed."

Stephen: "And all the scaremongering swayed people's opinions. A lot of people I was speaking to were planning to vote yes right up until the very end but then very close to the date they started to panic that we wouldn't have the pound and so on. It seemed to be if you had something to lose you had to vote no and if you had nothing to lose you could vote yes. As someone with nothing to lose I voted yes, but I could understand why other people voted no. But it felt like a victory for fear."

Francesca felt the behaviour of the BBC during the referendum also pushed people toward voting SNP.

Francesca: "The BBC were notorious for not reporting anything about the Yes campaign. They were really bad. That's why Scotland are now like, 'Why are we still paying for the BBC, we're getting nothing from it'. They don't support us or see our side."

Stephen: "And they're supposed to be impartial!"

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Then the wine kicked in and the conversation started to get a bit confusing:

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They both started to discuss Chinese foreign policy, then worried aloud about the fact the off license was about to close.

Back in the bar, the mood had turned a bit glum.

James Chapelard

Exit polls had just been released that showed the Conservatives were likely to get a majority. Everyone was quite shocked, including Carolyn O'Reilly, an SNP member from Rutherglen.

Carolyn took a break from the results and came outside to have a bit of a chat.

"I’m a member of the SNP and I’ve been volunteering today. I joined after the referendum. I think what people don’t necessarily realise is if you’re a member of a party you can hold them to account. It’s not just on polling day, it’s afterwards as well. You can bother them and make a pain of yourself!

"I think the reason people have rallied behind Nicola Sturgeon is that she's so contactable. If you ask her a question on Twitter she replies and that’s what politicians need to do. At the end of the day we are their employers and they need to understand that. Whatever happens tonight I’ll just be happy if there’s quite a few SNP MPs in Westminster because we know they’ll be fighting for Scotland. They’re not a branch office of some other party, they are Scotland. It would be nice if they got 58 or 59 seats, but we’ll see.

"It will send such a clear message to Westminster if they do. Scotland has been spoken about a lot in this election and it’s fantastic, we do matter. You were reminded of that during the referendum and here we are again."

Carolyn had a message for the rest of the UK.

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"As an SNP supporter myself it's not a case of us versus (the rest of the UK) at all. We could all work together here and that's what we're going to do."

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As I was chatting to Carolyn a guy called Lewis asked James (the photographer) if he could talk to me next.

Lewis was 21 and out celebrating his 19-year-old girlfriend's birthday.

"I’m out for my girlfriend’s 19th tonight. I live in Wishaw (North Lanarkshire). We voted and then came straight here on the train. We come to Yes Bar most weekends but we only started to come after they renamed it. It was so buzzing during the referendum - completely packed. The referendum predictions went from being 30-70 against to being 51-49 for and everyone really believed it: We were all like, 'We’re gonna win'. It was such a grassroots movement. It was so encouraging as well; I think that’s what’s kept people coming back and also voting SNP today because we got so close.

"All you really have to say is that exit polls today are predicting that we’re going to get 56 of 59 seats. That’s insane!

"The reason I like Nicola Sturgeon is that she’s straight-talking and she comes from roughly the same area as me. She tells the truth: She’s down to Earth and connects with people. When you see Ed Miliband trying to blend in with the working classes, how awkward does he look? He can't even manage to eat a roll and bacon properly. And Jim Murphy just looks like Voldemort."

Lewis was optimistic about living in an SNP-led Scotland.

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"The thing with the SNP is, they genuinely do put Scotland first and it's Scottish people first that they're really working for. Maybe I'm just being an idealist but I genuinely do believe it."

After that, we decided to head back to George Square to see if that rumoured rally was starting to form.

Hilary Wardle

Nope.

James: "Should I stand in the photo and try and look a bit like a rally?"

So we took the only logical course of action and headed to a Wetherspoons, where I met these guys:

Just met three 18 year olds in 'Spoons having a patriotic blue cocktail to celebrate SNP win/1st ever vote! #GE2015

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Despite the fact they were several drinks in, they were very articulate and had a lot to say about the election and the SNP.

James Chapelard

Michael: “After voting in the referendum you’re so much more inclined to go out and vote. It felt really important and that you really did have a voice. Voting does make a difference. I feel a lot more disconnected to this than I did to the referendum; that felt more life-changing, but this is still important."

Rachel: "We all voted SNP!"

Michael: "The SNP is a very youthful party. Most people that I know are voting SNP, they feel like an alternative party. Plus you always hear about their policies. I don’t think you hear as much about Labour’s policies, it’s more like, 'Vote for us so these guys don’t get in'. Tell me why I should vote for you, don’t tell me why I should vote for another party, like Labour saying, 'Vote for us to keep the Conservatives out'. It’s like MacDonalds advertising by saying, 'Don’t go to Pizza Hut because terrible things will happen'."

Hannah: "Today the SNP had a van going round our area, they were really visible. They’re really positive too. I think they’re quite a happy party and that attracts people to them.”

Michael: "The other parties aren’t offering the same fresh start that the SNP are.”

Eilish also shared why she feels the SNP have had such a huge groundswell of support in this election.

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"You can't exclude an entire nation from the UK, you have to take into consideration the will of the entire UK."

Michael took my number and said he'd call if he either spotted a rally, or decided to hold one himself.

The call never came: Blue cocktails clearly play havoc with your memory. It was almost 2am so I headed back to Edinburgh.

So what had I learned?

1. To keep an eye out for Groupon wine-tasting deals.

2. SNP voters think Nicola Sturgeon is accessible, honest, contactable, and down-to-earth, whereas Ed Miliband can't eat a bacon roll and looks awkward when talking to "working-class people". Also, that Jim Murphy looks like Voldemort.

3. Despite the fact they've been around since the 1930s, young people perceive the SNP as a youthful, new, and alternative party.

4. I need more than three hours sleep a night.

5. The next few years are going to be very interesting, particularly in Scotland.

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