If you wish to stand as an MP you need two things: A deposit of £500 and the written support of ten electors in your constituency of choice. It seems reasonable to suppose that the ten backers will then shift themselves on polling day to put their marks in the appropriate place on the ballot paper.
Alas, there are some candidates who are unable even to sway those who have apparently desired to see them elected. In the bye-election results for Tooting, South London, last night there were two who stood out in this regard. Bobby Smith got 9 votes. Maybe one of his nominators got lost on the way to the polling station, or the attraction of the local pie shop and an afternoon in the pub watching England actually win a tournament match proved too much.
But what can we say about Smiley Smillie (other than something obvious about the name)? Five votes. Five measly votes, out of 31,763. This person (I have no idea of the gender) could not even persuade half of his own backers, people who had taken the time to sign a nomination form, possibly even using their own pens so to do, to make the effort of crossing the street to a local hall, submit their name to a stern-looking official, take a piece of paper into a flimsy wooden booth and inscribe a cross on it. It's not as if they got confused about who they were voting for. You don't easily forget a name like Smiley Smillie.I'm doing my best to forget it now and it's not an easy task.