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Election Jargon 2017

Manifesto Mischief – The Latest Election Jargon Exposed

Pledges had been made, policies set out and red lines drawn. TV debates had been won and lost, election jargon tossed about and many soap boxes worn out at the hustings. With a record number of new voter registrations and opinion polls swinging wildly between left and right, this was to be a very exciting snap election and much too close to call.

It was a fine summer’s day in the English village of Great Barzooks as the genteel purr of a well-tuned Rolls Royce engine came into ear-shot in the village hall car park. Out stepped Valentine Shafe, the immaculately turned out Olde English party candidate, off to gather final votes before tomorrow’s all-important polling day. He whipped out his hanky and gave the chrome wing mirror a buff, “tough on grime”, he said breathily, as he put some elbow grease into it, “and tough on the causes of grime, “ he added, gazing darkly at a passing pigeon. “Keep away from my car, or you’ll be feeling my strong and stable hand around your neck, you flying rodent!” There was no austerity in Valentine’s words. His designer wardrobe suggested a man who hadn’t visited a single market for a number of years. He strode across the car park, blow-dried bouffant standing proud in the gentle breeze.

The creak of a bicycle was next to pierce the village soundscape, as the notoriously feisty Emelia Clutch, of the Workers’ Advancement Party, swung a well-toned thigh over the cross bar. She hopped off her decrepit chariot, changed into her stilettos and thundered into the hall. “The Great British people will hear from Emelia Clutch today,” she murmured. “Vegetation, vegetation, vegetation”, she quietly sung to herself, well aware of the Great Barzookians’ obsession with all things gardening.

Election Jargon Exposed - the candidates

First Past The Post

The ground war in Great Barzooks and its satellite villages, Little Barzooks, Upper Barzooks and Lower Barzooks was far from over. Emilia flung open the door to be faced with – her nemesis, her first past the post, the man for whom a lost deposit was a mere stepping stone on the way to political greatness and a Government position in Downing Street. “Valentine!”, Emilia exclaimed breathlessly, “Let me be clear”, this hall is mine today! “Emilia”, he purred, “I say this to you…” CLICK.  Before Valentine could finish his sentence, the sound of a door locking permeated the dusty air. Both candidates ran for the exit, which was indeed firmly secured.

“We’re trapped!”, wailed Emilia. “Together”, noted Valentine. “Try turning that deadlock, Emilia”. “Oh you turn it if you want to, Valentine, but this lock is not for turning, the bolt is obviously across on the other side!” A letter flew under the door: “Enjoy the final day of campaigning, Clutch & Shafe. In the National Interest, you must go forward together, change Britain’s future – for the many, not the few. The maintenance man will release you at 8 o’clock tomorrow. Get comfy. Oh, by the way, there’s no signal and the wifi’s on the blink.”

The crackle of human chemistry filled the air as these two foes, once a coalition of left and right in so many ways, were again thrown together – in a windowless room, with one buzzing strip light. Cohesion, it seems, was imminent.

“Emilia”, Valentine murmured, “Neither of us planned this. Neither of us expected this. But might I suggest that as we are here for a fixed term, we leave aside public affairs and our Brexit differences and seize this landslide opportunity to restore our glorious coalition.”

A Landslide Opportunity

Before you could say ‘Long Term Economic Plan’, Emilia was aboard her opponent’s battlebus, ready and willing to swing his hard-working family jewels into action. Emilia may have hated Valentine’s guts these past few years, but an opportunity to reacquaint herself up and down his country was the popular vote that won the day in her reignited and passionate mind.

“I say this”, she gasped fervently, “I would never usually allow canvassing near my ballot box so close to election day, but I am frankly much in need of a bit of public service from someone so comfortable with their hung parliament credentials.”

“Show me your manifesto”, Valentine growled in delight. “I’ll show you mine if you introduce me right now to your returning officer”, murmured Emilia.” By the way,” she added, “I have no interest today in proxy votes or spoiled ballots and insist you commit to a long-term economic plan that truly compliments my marginal seat.”

The Exit Poll

Was this madness? A coalition of chaos that was likely to boom before it was bust? At this moment in time, Valentine had very little concern about enlargement fatigue. He exercised his right to free movement and refamiliarized himself with Emilia’s corridor of power as this bi-partisan boondoggle was finally, gaspingly, put out to Referendum. Emelia’s swingometer signalled no opposition to Valentine’s cabinet post, which registered a number 10 swing towards her polling station. The Olde English party candidate travelled up and down Emilia’s country, confident that his turnout was sound and his working time directive was set to ‘unlimited’.

This quorum of bi-partisanship was reaching its unopposed yield, as the Workers’ Advancement Party’s best strategist made a tactical vote with a final, infatuated, filibuster. Valentine’s impressive exit poll was suddenly, and without deficit, upon them as his overall majority left her remaining undecided constituent parts in a spasm of grass-roots gerrymandering, with both parties brought to unanimity.

As the opposing candidates blushingly dusted the village hall debris from their clothes, a door swung open. The maintenance man was early and the campaign for the body politik was far from over.


What’s your favourite election jargon? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author Isla Torsten

Isla knows a good set of underwear when she sees it. Isla firmly believes that attitude and confidence are the key ingredients to looking just fabulous in your lingerie. She’s also an avid online shopper, capable of spotting a bargain at 20 paces.

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