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Now that the election hype is gradually dying down and a hung parliament is imminent, it’s worth remembering the unsung heroes of the election. This year, the British public took to the snap election with a healthy dose of humour, some of the funniest election tweets and a bit of fancy dress.
A number of joke candidates and their parties rallied together to steal votes from MPs with a fish finger, space lord and Elmo sharing the stage with the likes of Prime Minister Theresa May. It kind of worked, given that a lot of notable MPs have since lost their seats. Pour one out for the noble men and women in dress up, fighting to exercise their democratic rights.
Theresa May had the strangest political battle of her life against Lord Buckethead of the Gremloids Party. The cloaked and bucketed figure ran against her in the Maidenhead constituency out in Berkshire, where the self-proclaimed intergalactic space lord ran on a platform of ‘strong, but not entirely stable, leadership’ and dabbed his way through the final count. Unsurprisingly, he’s been trending on Twitter.
It was an impressive showing for budget Darth Vader who won a total of 249 votes, however Theresa May came out on top and retained her seat. In many of the photographs, the PM seems to have tactically positioned as far away from Lord Buckethead as possible.
Lord Buckethead’s manifesto is also a thing of glory. The full text is below.
‘1. The abolition of the Lords (except me).
2. Full facial coverings to be kept legal, especially bucket-related headgear.
3. No third runway to be built at Heathrow: where we’re going we don’t need runways.
4. Ceefax to be brought back immediately, with The Oracle and other Teletext services to be rolled out by the next Parliament.
5. Regeneration of Nicholson’s Shopping Centre, Maidenhead.
6. Buckethead on Brexit: a referendum should be held about whether there should be a second referendum.
7. Nuclear weapons: A firm public commitment to build the £100bn renewal of the Trident weapons system, followed by an equally firm private commitment not to build it. They’re secret submarines, no one will ever know. It’s a win win.
8. Nationalisation of Adele: in order to maximise the efficient use of UK resources, the time is right for great British assets to be brought into public ownership for the common good. This is to be achieved through capital spending.
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9. A moratorium until 2022 on whether Birmingham should be converted into a star base.
10. Legalisation of the hunting of fox-hunters.
11. New voting age limit of 16 to be introduced. New voting age limit of 80 to be introduced too.
12. Katie Hopkins to be banished to the Phantom Zone.
13. Stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Start buying lasers from Lord Buckethead.
14. Prospective MPs to live in the seat they wish to represent for at least five years before election, to improve local representation in Parliament.
15. Free bikes for everyone, to help combat obesity, traffic congestion and bike theft.’
He also had very strong opinions about Pizza Express, which would probably have factored into his campaign further down the line.
This isn’t the first time that Lord Buckethead has run for office however. He first ran against former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1987 and again in 1992 against John Mayor, though there’s no knowing if it’s the same man behind the mask. As for Lord Buckethead’s bizarre name? It’s actually a reference to a Star Wars parody called Hyperspace that flopped back in the 80s, where he’s the main protagonist. Here’s hoping he gets an honorary cameo in the next Star Wars sequel…
Mr Fish Finger
Out in the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency, the reigning Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron faced off against a man dressed in a gigantic fish finger costume – aptly named Mr Fish Finger. While Tim managed to hang onto his seat, Mr Fish Finger managed to steal a whopping 309 votes from him as well as the hearts of his constituency.
Mr Fish Finger is the leader of a party called – you guessed it – the Fish Finger Party. The campaign was an impressive grassroots effort and he crowdfunded his election costs. His website literally opens with the words ‘Hello. I am a fish finger.’, so at least supporters knew exactly what they were going to get.
Mr Fish Finger’s ‘manifishto’ (his words, not ours) and further statements were laden with fishy puns below.
‘Say TARTARE to Tim!’
‘Should you choose to elect me, my sole concern will be that of our constituency.’
‘Too many politicians waste your time by angling after your votes with false promises only to flounder around once in office.’
‘There has been too much carping on about Brexit.’
He signed off his statement with the hashtag #HAKEBRITAINGREATAGAIN and to be honest, we’re a little sad it’s not getting more traffic.
Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope
The Monster Raving Loony party (also known as the MRL Party) have been running since 1982, making them one of the oldest joke parties in the UK. Founded by Screaming Lord Sutch and its current 74-year-old leader Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope, this year they’re running on a ‘platform of free woollen hats for all, so we can pull the wool over peoples eyes’.
With previous campaign promises such as the introduction of a 99p coin and the abolishment of capital punishment as they see it as ‘unfair to Londoners’, their manicfesto this year was an absolute treat. Highlights are below.
‘Due to the fact that the Government have made cuts in almost everything around. the loony party proposes to cut the letters of the alphabet.. Starting with the letters N. H. and S.’
‘We will nationalise crime to make sure it doesn’t pay’
On educational reform
‘The Loony Party proposes that all Schools would have a Jumble sale or fete or other fundraising event at least twice per month to help raise funds for those little extras.. such as Desks, Books, paper, pens etc.’
‘One in one out (carried forward from our 2015 manicfesto (nicked by UKIP))’
‘We shall replace the Trident missile…with a three pronged fork’
‘We will rename the current Oyster travel cards, ‘Sardine Cards’ to better reflect the experience when travelling on public transport’
Howling Laud was also up against Prime Minister Theresa May in Maidenhead, however Lord Buckethead cannibalised most of the joke candidate votes this time round. Seriously, there’s something in the water out in Maidenhead.
Bobby ‘Elmo’ Smith
The Maidenhead stage was a wild one, with Theresa May at one end, Lord Buckethead in the middle and a man dressed in a full Elmo costume at the other end. Bobby ‘Elmo’ Smith, a 35-year-old heavy goods driver from Stevenage, could be easily mistaken as a joke candidate but he actually really has a very depressing backstory.
As the leader of the Give Me Back Elmo party, Bobby Smith has been campaigning since the 2015 general election (where he ran against David Cameron in Witney). His entire platform focuses on the issue of family court reform, as he personally hasn’t seen his daughters in four years following his separation from his wife. Their names combine to create the word Elmo – hence the bright red costume.
He ran against Prime Minister Theresa May this year in the hopes of raising awareness about his own struggle and the ‘lack of father’s rights in this country’. Unfortunately things didn’t work out too well for him this time round, as he dropped from 37 votes in 2015 to just 3 this year.