While the Lib Dems won Brecon’s by-election on 1 August, the Monster Raving Loony Party stole the show. 334 people voted for its candidate, Lady Lily the Pink, meaning the party came second to last – above UKIP. And the reaction on social media has been priceless.
“The second most Loony party in Britain”
Many in the media view the Brecon by-election as a proxy vote on both Brexit and Boris Johnson’s leadership. Meanwhile, the public is viewing the Monster Raving Loony Party’s success as a sign that the party which started it all is finally dead.
Some people pointed out that a satirical party’s beating of UKIP shows just how low the party has sunk:
Seems The Monster Raving Loony Party aren't the most ridiculous thing in British Politics anymore after gaining more votes than UKIP in the Brecon by-election yesterday. pic.twitter.com/Bcx6ZWSLrY
— Gladstone (@TreasuryMog) August 2, 2019
That they split the UKIP vote because in this post-truth era of alternative realities people who intended to vote for an actual raving loony may get confused, and accidentally vote for a satirical raving loony?
— Recovering Chess Addict (@addictedtochess) August 2, 2019
Remember when you lost against monster raving loony party
— Lewis Ford (@TheGuruLew) August 2, 2019
UKIP – officially the second most Loony party in Britain. Congratulations Lady Lily on keeping UK politics sane!
— Modern Briton, Esq. #FBPE (@ModernBriton) August 2, 2019
The Monster Raving Loony Party itself used the #LoonyMudslide hashtag to rub it in:
UKIP – We sleep!
— 📢 OfFiCIAL MoNstER rAVIng LOOnY PArTy 🎩 (@Official_MRLP) August 2, 2019
I had to get in the twitter queue to congratulate @Berni_Benton Lady Lily The Pink on her #LoonyBounce result in #BreconByelection .
The @Official_MRLP have seen parties come and we’ve seen ‘em go .
Lady Lilly and her Welsh Loony’s – Fantastic #LoonyMudslide
— Barmy Lord Brockman MP 🎩 Member of Public (@paulbvirgo) August 2, 2019
While Lady Lily the Pink herself was very happy about the outcome:
Thankyou, euphoric over defeating ukip
— Lady Lily The Pink (@Berni_Benton) August 2, 2019
Even former UKIP general secretary Paul Oakley admitted the results were damning:
For shame. UKIP on 242 beaten by the Monster Raving Loony on 334. I'm extremely skilled at spin. But. #BreconByelection
— Paul Oakley (@PaulJamesOakley) August 2, 2019
— SaveBritainEU (@SaveBritainEU) August 2, 2019
Congratulations to the @UKLabour candidate in #BreconByelection. With 5.3% the @jeremycorbyn candidate successfully held off the Monster Raving Looney and UKIP candidates. A solid endorsement of Labour's 'very clear' policies on #Brexit and #Antisemitism @SkyNews #r4today
— Antony Craig (@antonycraig) August 2, 2019
Some have compared Lady Lily the Pink’s Brecon by-election success to the 1990 Bootle by-election:
And the Monster Raving Looney Party pipped UKIP for 5th place. The Owenite SDP gave up after finishing behind Lord Sutch at the Bootle by-election in 1990 #justsaying
— Matt Singh (@MattSingh_) August 2, 2019
Founder and then-leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party, Screaming Lord Sutch, beat the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate. The SDP’s Bootle defeat is seen as the event that finished the ailing party off, leading to the birth of the Lib Dems.
Former UKIP leader Gerard Batten left the party on 2 June after disastrous European election results in which the party lost all of its seats, including Batten’s own. Nigel Farage’s new group, the Brexit Party, effectively usurped UKIP. Meanwhile, the Tories have lurched further right in recent years, picking up many former UKIP supporters.
Farage once claimed that UKIP thrived from the British National Party’s (BNP) demise, stealing a third of its votes. It also replaced the BNP as a symbol of overt racism in the political establishment. But the right-ward shift of the ‘Overton window‘ in recent years means overt racism has once again become part of the political mainstream.
Time to laugh
In the run-up to the Brecon by-election, Lady Lily the Pink said, “I’m not a real politician. I’m not even a real Lady, I am however a real Loony”. And that:
Like a large proportion of the electorate I’m angry… at the failings, the loopholes and the all-too-often self-serving system of governance we currently have.
UKIP may be at death’s door, but the nationalist and racist voices it reflected haven’t gone away. There’s serious work to be done on the streets and in the polling booths to make sure they don’t thrive. But the response to the Monster Raving Loony Party’s result shows there’s always time for a good laugh.
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