It's by-election day in Ealing Southall. The West London constituency is bereft of a representative following the death of Piara Kabra. The Labour politician was the UK's oldest at 82.
Twelve hopefuls are vying for victory. Virenda Kumar Sharma is the Labour candidate, while Nigel Bakhai stands for the Lib Dems. Tony Lit, meanwhile, represents 'David Cameron's Conservatives'. What? Is that to distinguish them from Gordon Brown's Conservatives? Or is it some kind of psychological tactic to win more votes - stick the name of someone you've heard of on the ballot paper, and people will put a cross next to it.
We have Loony representation courtesy of the rather disappointingly named John Cartwright, who also serves as his party's 'Shadow Minister for Chocolate'. Then there's Yakub Masih, whose party is called 'Proclaiming Christ's Lordship'. Hmmm, we wonder...would it be disrespectful to make gags about attracting the cross? Probably, so we won't.
It's not going smoothly. Allegations of electoral wrong-doing are floating round after hints at the postal vote result were published. One of the Telegraph's army of bloggers reported that the Ealing Southall result looked close, 'basing his prediction on party activists who saw ballot papers as they were verified yesterday'. It all sounds very anecdotal, but is still a breach of electoral law, requiring police investigation. A neat test case for the Daily Telegraph, who recently opened their blogging platform to anyone who wanted to write. They took the post down as soon as its content became clear.
Appropriately, Ealing Southall is an anagram of 'lush allegation'.
Image take from djwudy's Flickr photostream.