UNITED KINGDOM

UK election: let the best joker win

Thursday night saw the UK's first ever live pre-election televised debate between the three major party leaders. But it's not the only sign that British election campaigning is warming to American rules. As in the 2008 presidential election in the US, spoofing is playing a major part in the race - not only with voters, but politicians too. Read more and see the posters...

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Thursday night saw the UK's first ever live pre-election televised debate between the three major party leaders. But it's not the only sign that British election campaigning is warming to American rules. As in the 2008 presidential election in the US, spoofing is playing a major part in the race - not only with voters, but politicians too.

On Saturday the ruling Labour party revealed the first ever campaign poster designed by a member of the public. The design was chosen as part of a competition in which 1,000 people took part.

The poster compares the Conservative leader, David Cameron, with a politically incorrect TV character who stars in a BBC TV series, Ashes to Ashes. The series is set in the early 1980s - the Thatcher era - and the character (Gene Hunt), is a hard-drinker who drives an Audi Quattro and refers to criminals as "scum".

The joke soon fell flat, however, when the Conservatives thanked the Labour party for making Cameron look "cool". The Tories then pushed the idea further, "reworking" the poster to produce the following:

After the "Fire up the Quattro" poster proved popular with both Tory politicians and their supporters, the original poster was labelled an "own goal" for Labour.

Meanwhile another response had been brewing on the non-official Tory website; ConservateiveHome.com:

The poster, which sees Prime Minister Gordon Brown depicted as sleazeball with an Austin Maxi, refers to Labour's catastrophic industrial policies during the1970s.

Faced with the squabbling pair, the third major party, the Liberal Democrats, (who are yet to govern the country), have jumped on the opportunity to criticise both the Labour and Conservative parties at the same time with the creation of a mythical "Labservative" party.

The far-right United Kingdom Independence Party disputed the Lib Dem's criticism, however, tarring them with the very same brush:

Read also: Conservatives to lose the election… to Photoshop?