The 10 most mind boggling moments of the 2017 General Election
PUBLISHED: 02:36 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 02:36 09 June 2017
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Socialist cats, liberal spaniels and awkward chips
1. Politicians grappling with their maths
This election campaign will be remembered for senior politicians coming unstuck on their figures. Jeremy Corbyn went on Woman’s Hour to launch a childcare policy without knowing how much it would cost, while Chancellor Philip Hammond underestimated the cost of HS2 by £20 billion. But the major miscalculation of the campaign came from Diane Abbott, who during a car crash interview with LBC said Labour’s plan to hire 10,000 extra police officers would cost anywhere between £300,000 and £80 million. Abbott has since stepped down from shadow home secretary duties due to ill health.
2. Smell my spaniel
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron came up with arguably the catchphrase of the campaign when out meeting voters in Cambridge. A video clip captured Farron telling one voter to “smell my spaniel, maybe” as he fussed over their dog. The Lib Dem leader’s pet dog Jasper makes regular appearances on social media, and Farron later tweeted another picture of Jasper, saying: “He wants you to know that his family are standing by him at this difficult time.”
3. Mutton-headed old mugwump
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is renowned for his turn of phrase, and his description of Mr Corbyn will go down as his most colourful language in this campaign. Lib Dem leader Mr Farron gave Mr Johnson a run for his money on the quips front, though, as he criticised Theresa May for not attending a televised BBC debate. “The Prime Minister isn’t here - she can’t be bothered,” Mr Farron said at the close of the debate. “So why should you? In fact, Bake Off is on BBC2 next. Why not make a brew? You’re not worth Theresa May’s time - don’t give her yours.”
4. Paul Nuttall and ‘Natalie’
The UKIP leader called Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood “Natalie” twice in 20 minutes during a leaders’ debate on ITV. Social media speculated that Nuttall was confusing the Plaid leader for Natalie Bennett, the former leader of the Green Party, or Hollywood actress Natalie Wood. Nuttall later explained: “Even during prep that day, I kept calling her ‘Natalie’. Everyone was saying to me: ‘Her name is Leanne’ and I went on to the platform saying: ‘Leanne, Leanne, Leanne’, and it just came out wrong.”
5. Ban the burka to get more vitamin D
Among UKIP’s most controversial policies was to ban the burka and other face coverings in public places. The party said such a move would help integration by allowing better communication, while face coverings also meant people could not be identified on CCTV. But UKIP also backed the policy by saying such garments “prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight”.
6. Theresa May eating chips
The Prime Minister had what was dubbed an “Ed Miliband moment” while out campaigning in Cornwall. A series of photos of May eating takeaway chips captured an array of awkward facial expressions as the Prime Minister munched her way through the meal, evoking memories of Miliband eating a bacon sandwich in the run up to the 2015 election.
7. Ed Miliband mows the lawn
The former Labour leader had a much more low-key campaign this time around, as he went back to campaigning in his constituency rather than attempting to lead his party into Downing Street. Miliband was filmed calling numbers at a bingo night in Doncaster, while the moment he stepped in to mow a constituent’s lawn was captured on Twitter. This good deed appeared to pay dividends - a visit to the same house later in the campaign appeared to confirm they were voting Labour.
8. Jeremy Corbyn’s cat is a socialist
Corbyn has stepped into the spotlight in this campaign, facing bruising questions about things like his stance on security and terrorism. However, Corbyn’s cat El Gato has also come into focus at various stages of the election, with questions over how it would fit in among the other felines at Downing Street. Corbyn revealed that El Gato would have no problems settling into Number 10 because of his “socialist tenancies”, having already made friends with a stray cat that visits the Labour leader’s home.
9. Iain Duncan Smith channels Eminem
The former Conservative Party leader and work and pensions secretary is not someone you would usually associate with rap star Eminem. But in an unusual appearance on Good Morning Britain, Duncan Smith cited lyrics from Eminem’s hit Lose Yourself to poke fun at Labour’s Diane Abbott and her grasp of figures. “It’s halfway down, and he says he opens his mouth, but the words don’t come out, he’s choking now, everybody’s joking now, and the clock’s run out,” said Duncan Smith. “I thought Diane had been checking that one out, actually.”
10. Sir Greg Knight’s campaign jingle
The Conservative veteran and candidate in East Yorkshire brightened up the final days of campaigning with a bizarre campaign video posted online. His uncertain entrance into shot and printed graphics were unusual enough, but it was the music at the end of the video which really made it stand out, promising accountability with Conservative delivery. The video has been likened to something Alan Partridge would produce, and Sir Greg told The Mirror: “I’m not sure how I should take it being compared to Alan Partridge. I guess if I ever leave politics, I could get a job down the local radio station.”