Legitimacy and the celebrity single-issue candidate

Collins, Jeremy (2015) Legitimacy and the celebrity single-issue candidate. In: UK Election Analysis 2015: Media, Voters and the Campaign. The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community Bournemouth University, Poole, England, pp. 84-85. ISBN 978-1-910042-07-6

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Abstract / Description

While news coverage of General Elections can be argued to 'crowd out' other topics of public interest in the public sphere, some saw the election as an opportunity to attract publicity to a cause. The artist Bob and Roberta Smith stood in Michael Gove's Surrey Heath constituency in protest at the coalition’s changes to the education curriculum downgrading the importance of art, while the comedian Al Murray’s 'Pub Landlord' candidacy in South Thanet was presented, perhaps more ambiguously, as a satirical criticism of fellow candidate Nigel Farage (the initials of Murray's 'Free United Kingdom Party' (FUKP) illustrating the blunt nature of any ironical intent). Murray's manifesto pledged to brick up the channel tunnel using British bricks and Polish workers; Smith’s platform was built around placing art at the centre of the curriculum. Towards the end of the campaign, and notwithstanding the final outcome, legitimacy - in the sense of the various potential parliamentary combinations of the main parties - became a key media topic. To what extent was the legitimacy of candidates such as Murray and Smith questioned?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: general elections; single-issue candidates; celebrity candidates; celebrity politics; Al Murray; Bob and Roberta Smith
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
300 Social sciences > 320 Political science
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts
Department: School of Computing and Digital Media
Depositing User: Jeremy Collins
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 11:51
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 12:00
URI: https://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/4862


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