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the best of the rest

Would you vote for this man?

Here are some of the more ‘interesting’ characters that will be appearing in the UK election next month.

MUCH LIKE OVER here, elections come around every five years or so in the UK.

And, despite an electoral deposit of £500 designed to deter fringe candidates, polling day inevitably brings full complement of unusual characters.

While some entries are purely for humorous effect, others sincerely represent ideas that seem far-flung to the mainstream.

With the UK general election set to take place on 7 May, here we take a look though some of the more diverse elements that will be entering the field.

The Monster Raving Loony Party

A long-standing oddity in the UK election scene, the Monster Raving Loony Party were set up by musician Screaming Lord Sutch (who sadly died from suicide in 1999) with the purpose of satirising the British political system.

Lord Sutch news conf Screaming Lord Sutch at the 1997 General Election with a John Major lookalike PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

More than thirty years after the party was set up it is still going strong and is set to field 20 candidates in the upcoming election.

The current leader of the party is Howling Laud Hope, who was jointly elected to the position with his pet cat, Catmando, in 1999. He has been the party’s sole leader since Catmando’s untimely demise in a road traffic accident in 2002. He will be running against current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in the constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the upcoming election.

The party’s policies include reducing the national debt by “selling castles back to the French” and “tax payers to receive nectar points from the HMRC”.

Eastleigh By-election Howling 'Laud' Hope in 2013 Chris Ison / PA Wires Chris Ison / PA Wires / PA Wires

Justice for Men and Boys (and the women who love them)

This party were set up by leader Mike Buchanan to fight for ‘men’s rights’, which he claims have been eroded. The party and its leader have come in for much criticism for their opposition to feminism.

In the party’s manifesto they make the rather dubious statement that, “There are no areas in which the State disadvantages women and girls.” The party will be fielding candidates in the Nottingham constituencies.

mike buchanan Leader of Justice for Men and Boys Mike Buchanan ITV ITV

English Democrats

Think that Scotland is the only UK country thinking of breaking out of the Union? Think again. The English Democrats think it would be great if England went independent.

The party currently hold one local government seat in the UK and will field candidates in a number of constituencies across England in the upcoming election. Their chairman is Robin Tilbrook.

CISTA

This single issue party is set to run in constituencies around the UK on the single issue of the review of cannabis laws. The party is newly formed and have a section of their website where you can take a short quiz to see if you are eligible to stand for them.  

The party takes its inspiration in part from the legalisation of cannabis in some states in the US.

cista CISTA CISTA

The Pub Landlord Al Murray

As leader of the ‘Free United Kingdom Party’, the comedy character Al Murray is set to contest the seat of South Thanet against Nigel Farage and a range of other colourful characters.

Murray’s election promises include making pints of beer 1p and bricking up the Channel Tunnel. 

Al Murray visit to Kent Al Murray out on the campaign trail PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Besides Murray, Prophet Zebadiah Abu-Obadiah (real name Robert Boaler), will be running for the “Al-Zebabist Nation of OOOG”, a satirical party which policies include tax breaks for bearded families and the separation of the Isle of Thanet from the rest of the UK.

Also featured in this constituency is the ‘We are the Reality’ party – who were founded by Mark ‘Bez’ Berry, of Happy Mondays fame. The party is broadly left wing and was featured as part of a Channel 4 documentary last year. 

Fracking protest - London Bez, pictured here at a protest against fracking earlier this year Dominic Lipinski / PA Wires Dominic Lipinski / PA Wires / PA Wires

King Arthur

Quite possibly the only druid represented in this year’s election, Arthur Uther Pendragon has previously had a number of run-ins with English Heritage over Stonehenge, which he campaigned for the removal of an exclusion area around. He will be running in the Salisbury constituency.

Read: People are using a rather rude hashtag to discuss tonight’s 7-way UK election debate

Also: There’s another secret list of Fine Gael councillors* getting special training 

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