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11 weird, cool and unexpected things that the 2017 general election spawned

Tristan Parker

The election happened and people are talking about it. A lot. But among all the politics and stuff, some really important things happened. Okay, perhaps more bizarre than important, but let’s take a look at some of the highlights anyway.

1. Buckethead

Were there any real winners last night? There was certainly one and he looked a bit like Darth Vader (or possibly a Pythonesque Knight of Ni) after a heavy night out. Lord Buckethead (an ‘Intergalactic space lord’, obvs) shared the podium with Theresa May after winning 249 votes in Maidenhead. His manifesto is truly inspired – here are a few of the many gems: ‘Ceefax to be brought back immediately’, ‘Nationalisation of Adele’ and ‘Stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Start buying lasers from Lord Buckethead.’ And we’re all for lasers.

2. Mr Fishfinger 

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron retained his seat in Westmorland and Lonsdale, Cumbria, but he was overshadowed by... a guy in a fish finger costume. Independent candidate Mr Fishfinger (who changed his name by deed poll. Seriously) cooked up 309 votes – not enough to win, but his mere presence in a giant fishy fingery costume, hovering in the background during Farron’s speech, ensured that all eyes (and headlines) were on him. 

3. Grime time for Corbyn

Back in 2015 when he became leader of the Labour Party, who could have predicted that Jeremy Corbyn would be chatting politics with JME, even letting the Boy Better Know founder take over his Snapchat? It was just one of many shows of support for JC from various bods in the grime scene, with further support from Stormzy and Novelist, plus other rappers and producers from hip hop and beyond. There was even a #Grime4Corbyn rave in London last month. Funny old world, eh?

4. Fields of wheat

Theresa May’s revelation that the naughtiest thing she’d ever done was ‘running through fields of wheat’ went down over social media pretty much as you’d expect – with a little bit of mild ribbing, shall we say. Here’s one of many reactions:

5. Tweeting cats

Even if you’re not so keen on politicians, you can’t help but love London’s political pets. Chief Mouser to No. 10 Larry, Evie the Cabinet Office cat and other political animals all have, erm, their ‘own’ Twitter accounts (full disclosure – they’re very much unofficial and not run by government, which you can probably guess after scanning them), which provided a lot of LOLs during last night’s action and are still going strong today. 

6. Diane Abbott’s care package

It wasn’t all fun and games. When it was announced that Diane Abbott was temporarily standing aside as Home Secretary due to ‘ill health’ after a couple of interview slip-ups, many jumped to to the London MP’s defence. People were concerned about Abbott’s wellbeing, and as a gesture of goodwill and support, a crowdfunding page was set up to sort her with a ‘care package’, containing various goodies including TLC albums, ‘at least two litres of coconut oil’ and an ‘audio recording of Serena Williams reading Maya Angelou’. Abbott might not need it after last night, though – she stormed to victory in her constituency (Hackney North and Stoke Newington), racking up over 75% of the votes.

7. This jacket

We’ll leave you to make up your own minds about the clothing choice of Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP for Kettering, who retained his seat and wore this very jacket on the podium.

8. A Jeremy Corbyn victory party

Described on the Facebook event page as ‘the Jeremy Corbyn victory party’, this bash at the Red Lion pub in Westminster still looks to be taking place, despite the fact Jezza isn’t actually PM. If you’re going, you might want to get there early to avoid the squeeze – the attendance figures on Facebook (always an ever-reliable indicator) show 3,400 people going and a further 8,200 ‘interested’. Let’s hope they bring in a few extra chairs. 

9. #dogsatpollingstations

As if you needed us to tell you, #dogsatpollingstations again provided one of the internet highlights of the election. Say what you like, but they certainly cheered us up.

10. #otherthingsatpollingstations

But it wasn’t just dogs that got in on the action this year. Also snapped and hashtagged at polling stations across the UK were frogs, logscatsrats, horses and – in a very British demonstration of election fever – tins of beer...

Andrew Reynolds, a professor of political science specialising in LGBTQ politics, found that there are now 45 ‘out LGBTQ MPs’ – which he calls a ‘global record’. And speaking of records, there are now more than 200 female MPs in Parliament for the first time ever. Whatever your feelings about the election, those are two results that we can all be happy about. 

Want a bit more detail? Check out our report on how London voted...

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