Count Binface and Elmo provided some comic relief at the UK election

Count Binface, Elmo and a man wearing a balaclava with a print of baked beans all had their very brief moments of glory in this British election.

As is a long tradition in Britain, elections include a variety of joke candidates, often competing with prominent politicians. While obviously comic relief in a serious time, the candidates are nonetheless there to make a point: since the 1970s, they have aimed to bridge the gap between politics and ordinary people.

On election night, these joke candidates share the stage as they learn who won their constituency. That's how you get photos of the country's new prime minister shaking hands with a man in an Elmo suit, without even batting an eyelid.

That's also how you get the photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg, a former cabinet minister who lost his seat to a Labour candidate on Thursday, standing next to a man wearing a balaclava with baked beans.

And so an outgoing prime minister shares the stage with a man dressed as a dustbin from outer space and Archibald Stanton of The Official Monster Raving Loony Party, holding a ventriloquist's dummy.

Count Binface, a perennial frontrunner who burst onto the political scene in 2018 and lost to Rishi Sunak on Thursday, wasn’t too unhappy with the results either, which saw him finish sixth. “My highest ever parliamentary vote,” the self-described space politician wrote on social media.

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