What do Elmo, a space lord, and a monster have in common?
They all competed against UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her parliamentary seat.
Hours after the polls closed in Britain’s general election, May stood solemnly on stage alongside her fellow Maidenhead constituency candidates: a life-sized Elmo, a Darth Vader-esque character, and a man wearing a massive pin reading “Loony Party Leader.”
Who were May’s curious challengers? If you were among those wondering what in the world was going on, here’s a quick primer:
Lord Buckethead, a Darth Vader-esque character, is based on an obscure villain from the 1984 Star Wars parody Gremloids (or Hyperspace). According to Lord Buckethead’s Twitter bio, the mysterious political candidate is a self-described “intergalactic space lord,” running to be an independent Member of Parliament.
This isn’t Lord Buckethead’s first foray into politics. The politician – or someone running under the same monicker – stood against former PM Margaret Thatcher in 1987. Lord Buckethead ran for parliament again in 1992, this time against Thatcher’s successor as PM, John Major.
Lord Buckethead’s manifesto goals included “a referendum on whether there should be a second referendum,” and “the nationalization of Adele.”
Give Me Back Elmo Party
Bobby Smith, a fathers’ rights campaigner and founder of the “Give Me Back Elmo Party,” ran against May as part of his fight to reform family courts.
Before appearing on stage with May, the fluffy red muppet was pictured heckling her at a polling station. According to local reports, the person in the costume at the time was actually the candidate’s mother.
Monster Raving Loony Party
“Howling Laud” Hope, otherwise known as Alan, is leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party – one of Britain’s smallest (and strangest) parties.
Their (not very serious) policies include replacing Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Trident, with “a tuning fork” and giving the vote to anyone over the age of five who can hold a crayon.
But they also promise that “should we be elected, we will not initiate any of our policies” – an ironic stab at more mainstream parties who often fail to carry out their manifesto promises once elected.
Mr Fish Finger
Though he wasn’t running against May, Mr Fish Finger was another candidate to raise eyebrows on Thursday night.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, fish fingers are a delightfully British delicacy of breadcrumbed fish often eaten in a sandwich or as we call them over here “a sarnie.”
The would-be politician, who wears a bright orange fish stick-shaped costume, ran against Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron in Kendal.
While he didn’t manage to unseat Farron, he did prove a distracting presence during Farron’s acceptance speech.
Judith Vonberg contributed to this report.