General Election 2024 polling day: Watch the funny political stunts gone wrong from elections past

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As voters head to cast their votes today, watch ill-judged political stunts from over the years above, including Neil Kinnock falling victim to the tide and the notorious ‘EdStone’.

Since the upcoming general election was announced for July 4, there have been plenty of bizarre moments from the Conservative and Labour party leaders.

Rishi Sunak made a football gaffe in Wales, was accused of captaining a sinking ship when he visited the Titanic Quarter in Belfast and left a D-Day event early. Sir Keir Starmer was accused of dithering over whether Diane Abbott could stand as a Labour candidate and gave an unimpressive performance in the first TV debate.

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Here we’ve taken a look at some of the political stunts gone wrong from over the years, as Sunak and Starmer prepare to do battle tonight during the latest televised debate.

Neil Kinnock takes a tumble

In 1983, Labour Party leadership candidate Neil Kinnock fell over on Brighton’s seafront while walking with his wife Glenys Kinnock. He had jokingly offered to walk along the beach so the press could get a "real scoop” of him “walking on the water” before he was caught out by the tide.

Neil Kinnock falls over on Brighton seafront in 1983.Neil Kinnock falls over on Brighton seafront in 1983.
Neil Kinnock falls over on Brighton seafront in 1983. | ITN


In 2015, Labour leader Ed Milliband unveiled a 2.6 metre (8 ft 6 in) tall stone tablet which had the party’s six pledges carved into it. The stone, which cost a reported £30,000, was widely mocked and was dubbed the ‘EdStone’ by Twitter (now X) users.

Running through fields of wheat

In 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May was asked what the naughtiest thing she had ever done was on ITV’s Tonight programme. Her response, 'running through fields of wheat' as a child, was subject to widespread ridicule.

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Harriet Harman’s pink bus

In 2015, Harriet Harman had a pink battle van for the campaign trail in an effort to connect with women voters. However, Twitter users labelled the colour scheme "patronising" and "sexist".

Gordon Brown’s mic gaffe

In 2010, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was caught on mic calling a voter a “bigoted woman”. On a visit to Rochdale, Gillian Duffy challenged him on the economy and immigration but later told reporters she was a life-long Labour voter and intended to vote for him again. Duffy was then shocked to hear Brown, unaware he was still wired up to a TV microphone, calling her a “bigoted woman” after he got in his car.

Boris Johnson gets stuck on a zipwire

In 2012, Mayor of London Boris Johnson got stuck on a zip-wire while celebrating Team GB's first gold medal at the London Olympics. Johnson was left dangling in the air above a crowd of people, with him shouting to onlookers: “Get me a ladder!”

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