UK voters are still undecided on the best pun to use in the event of a hung parliament, it was revealed today. Current opinion polls show that, should no party win an overall majority in the impending General Election, the British public are uncertain whether to quip “Hung parliament? They don’t look very well hung to me!” or “Hung parliament? Too right — they should hang all politicians!”
The news comes after polls showed the gap between the three main political parties has closed as a result of last night’s second televised leader’s debate, increasing the likelihood of a hung parliament.
The party leaders have been quick to voice support for their pun of choice, following warnings from the financial sector that a weak pun could adversely affect the economy. Speaking from 10 Downing Street, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that there was “only one realistic choice of pun for Britain”.
“To preserve stability, the British public must unite behind the ‘well hung’ pun,” Mr Brown told voters. “The other one is grammatically incorrect, anyway. It’s hanged, not hung.”
Conservative leader David Cameron defended his choice of pun, saying it was time to challenge Mr Brown’s “outdated” way of thinking.
“Last week, I met a black, gay Chelsea pensioner who told me he’d had enough of this government telling him how he could and couldn’t misuse the English language,” Mr Cameron said.
But the war of words has now been turned on its head by the appearance of an unprecedented third hung parliament pun, backed by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. From being just an also-ran in previous hung parliament scenarios, the third pun has emerged as a credible contender.
“There is another choice,” Mr Clegg told some people who didn’t know who he was a few weeks ago. “You could say that you’d like politicians to be ‘hung out to dry’. It’s something neither of the other two puns offer: voters can engage in a real change of wordplay, without compromising their grammatical integrity.”
In recent hours the Prime Minister has hit back at Mr Clegg’s pun, saying that it lacks depth.
“The pun Nick is offering is ineffectual and weak, and has no grounding in reality,” the Prime Minister said. “What does ‘hung out to dry’ really mean, anyway? What does it mean for Britain? What this country needs now is a solid, reliable pun, with no ambiguity of meaning. Apart from the pun element, obviously,” he added.