In the British election, were there any silly parties?

I don’t pay much attention to British politics, but I like the way that they have (had?) a tradition of making fun of themselves.

There used to be parties with names like “Crazy raving loonies”, and candidates with long names about 10 words long, ending with “biscuit barrel”.
Is this still a thing?
(And should it be?)

I’m a casual follower of the politics of the UK, and I’m a big fan of Count Binface. He’s a party of one, and he’s run for various positions. He wears a black costume and a trash bin on his face (of course) and most importantly a cape.

He looks silly, but he’s made some good points mixed in with the goofiness and I think it really shows that anyone can and should run for office, which seems much healthier than the US system.

He also did better than Britain First (a bunch of far-right jerks as far as I know) for mayor of London, which has always pleased me.

Oh yes it’s still a thing. Particularly in seats with big politicians in them.

Rishi Sunak was surrounded by comedy candidates.

Jacob Rees Mog had Barmy Brunch (a man with a bean face): Embed from Getty Images

Key Starmer shook hands with Elmo following his victory

There is still the Monster Raving Loony Party

God yes. If there’s one thing we can be proud of about British politics, it’s the general good heart in which elections are undertaken and delivered. Anyone can stand, the cycle is swift, people have the ability to laugh at themselves and the dominant party takes power within hours of the result. And everyone shakes hands and says nice things about each other.

Mostly. Way back, I can recall at one count an exceedingly ungracious and expletive-laden speech from a National Front candidate, but granted, that was a rarity.

By the end of a campaign, the various helpers (all unpaid, of course) can tend to feel they have as much or more in common with each other* than they do with the voters “out there”.

*Maybe not all of them.

So what’s the best performance by any of the joke candidates, historically? Have any ever actually won a seat?

Jacob Rees Mogg IS a comedy candidate.

Which one is Rishi? :wink:

Not sure, but he’s quite small so probably the one in the white suit.

A football team mascot ran for Mayor as a publicity stunt and won (and did a good job)

I don’t think any have won seats in Parliament, although many independents have won seats over the years running on single (and sometimes local-only) issues.

On a small scale, there was the case of Hartlepool mascot H’Angus the Monkey winning three terms as Mayor. I believe all-day pub opening was one of his policies that was actually implemented.

ETA: Ninja’d!

This is just too obvious to make a joke about so I shall refrain.

Did this happen in real life before it happened on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, or is it a case of life imitating art?

Ahh, so I gather that the silly candidates are individuals who only run* in one district. They don’t organize a party on the national level?

That makes it pretty harmless, and more fun, I suppose.

*(oops—“stand” in Brit-speak)

I had seen a picture of Mr Bunch in UK election coverage and I thought he was supposed to be Ben Grimm/The Thing.

Generally speaking yes, but the Monster Raving Looney Party stood in over 20 constituencies this year.

gather that the silly candidates are individuals who only run* in one district. They don’t organize a party on the national level?

If you click on the link above, you’ll see they have memberships and a “conference” just like a regular party. But yes, it looks like each candidate runs their own campaign and activities.

They did manage to qualify for an official party election broadcast on the BBC for the Welsh Assembly elections some years ago,

Bit of both.

The musician Screaming Lord Sutch (not actually a lord, but he did do a fair amount of screaming) was a perennial election candidate from 1963 onwards, standing in constituencies where there was a high-profile candidate from one of the more established parties. He wore flamboyant clothes and a top hat and changed his name by deed poll so that he could appear on the ballot paper under his stage name.

The Monty Python sketch dates from 1970.

But life does imitate art. Since the Python sketch, at least one joke candidate has run under a name taken from that sketch, and another has run under the “Silly Party” brand, which also comes from the sketch. And in 1982 Sutch founded the Official Monster Raving Looney Party, which is still going. The party name does not come from the Python sketch but much of its spirit does.

To be specific, Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel received 223 votes in 1981.