Never mind the ballots – here’s what Paddy Power got up to at the London Marathon

Athletics and democracy come together in our latest mischief based metaphor


It’s an unnecessarily long ordeal featuring dirty tricks, long periods of nothing much happening and by the end everyone feels a quite sore, a bit miserable and with the vague sense that nothing much will change in their lives. And, if you’re that way inclined, there may also be some questions about the number of Africans who managed to get ahead of the locals.

We are of course talking about the London Marathon, but equally that could be a perfectly apt description of another major British event on the horizon – yes, the General Election. With the race for Number 10 moving towards the endgame, we saw the potential for some political hijinks.

And by ‘hijinks’ we do in fact ‘superfluous cruelty’. We made four gigantic paper mache heads of the major figures of General Election 2015 and stuck them on four runners making their way around the 26.2 miles of London torture. Here’s what it looked like.

Here’s the lads warming up ahead of the race:

Here they are queuing for the toilet. Although Farage seems to have taken ‘toilet queue’ to mean ‘Conga line’ based on where he’s got his hands:

And here they are at the start line. This time Nigel Farage looks like he’s getting a body cavity search.

As you can see, it was absolutely hilarious. For us – not the people slowing dehydrating under the enormous heads. David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nigel and Cleggy all running around trying to beat each other – it’s like a metaphor, but not one of those posh poetry ones about how we’re all going to hell, one that features massive heads styled to look like politicians running around the streets of London. Suck on that, T.S. Eliot.

Paddy Power, no stranger to looking on from afar while other people do all the hard work, summarised the events “Farage limbered up with a pint and a fag, Miliband was seen scoffing a bacon sandwich, and Clegg was being a dutiful coalition partner by massaging Cameron’s calves. It was all fun and games at the start but I do fear for the lads. There was a fair amount of jeering and the quality of the t-shirts they were wearing was so poor, I expect some serious nipple chaffing”.

Oh, the LOLs and ROFLing we’re doing right now.

Here’s Red Ed tackling his biggest foe – a bacon butty:

Here’s David Cameron getting a bus!! Imagine – David Cameron standing that close to peasants!

And here’s the PM stopping to ask what football team he supports. And asking for directions:

Or else they were mugging him for his map. The country really has gone to shite under the Tories.

As usual, Twitter folk had a fair bit to say about what was happening.

The lads were snapped on their way around:

Dammit!! @Petergriffdog wasn’t impressed.

‘Hijacking’ by asking four people of nearly 40,000 to wear amusing over-sized heads and giving them donations to their chosen charities? Probably not the worst hijacking in history.

We like @Zafaldo more anyway:

Nicholas is also a fan. And by the sounds of it, a blood relation and/or close friend of someone in the Paddy Power marketing department:

Michael gives us a chilling vision of what the future may hold:

With the election finishing line in sight for the four politicos, Paddy makes Labour leader Ed Miliband the 8/11 front-runner for PM, and David Cameron close behind at 11/10, while the chasing pack of Nigel Farage (50/1) and Nick Clegg (80/1) look well off the pace.

Despite installing Miliband as the favourite for next PM, the Conservatives remain odds-on favourites with Paddy to take the most seats at 2/5, with Labour at 2/1. The bookie is also predicting a hung parliament at odds of 1/10.

What do you think?