Ed Davey ranks his favourite funny election stunts

The Liberal Democrat leader has drawn praise - and some criticism - for his unique election campaign

British leader of the Liberal Democrats party Ed Davey falls from a paddle board, at Lake Windermere in Windermere, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Ed Davey falls from a paddle board at Lake Windermere at the start of the campaign. (Reuters)

Ed Davey is ranking his election stunts. The Liberal Democrat leader - holding a sharpie in one hand and a selection of pictures of him leaping off paddle boards, crawling under ropes and racing wheelbarrows in the other - has clearly enjoyed every minute of his campaign.

Yahoo News joined the Lib Dem leader on his election 'battlebus' (the mode of transport ferrying him and his closest advisers around the country). After watching him take part in an art class and swim in the North Sea, we asked him to rank his exploits.

"Oooh, this one was good," he says looking through them. "Wow, there are loads."

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The unexpectedly active (read also silly/amusing/calculated depending on who you're talking to) election campaign has seen Davey participate in a myriad of photo opportunities that he appears to have enjoyed every minute of.

Many have involved a more serious underlying message - from fighting sewage to tackling mental health issues in young people - but some seem to have given Davey a welcome break from long days of campaigning. "I think we're having the most fun campaign, myself," he says.

Here are his top five stunts, as ranked by Davey himself:

"Do you have the care home," Davey asks as soon as I pull pictures of his stunts out of my bag. He shuffles through the papers "The care home, the drumming was fun."

"When I was drumming with those bouncy balls - We Will Rock You - it was great," he says.

Davey has been a carer himself - first for his later mother when he was a teenager, and now for his son - and a focus on carers has been a key part of the Lib Dem manifesto.

“Too many people, elderly people in particular, disabled people, are not getting the care they need,” he told the Daily Echo during his visit to the care home in Romsey. “It’s a wonderful care home here and it is a really lovely care they are getting. It is great to see but many people don’t."

The waterslide stunt "has to be up there", Davey says. Another day of "great fun" saw Davey ride the slip'n'slide in Frome and East Somerset while sharing a message about the mental health of children and young people.

"We’ve come up - talking to experts - with this set of ideas to ensure that every school will have a qualified mental health professional to work with the staff so we can have that early intervention and make sure we get the treatment they deserve when they need it," he told press at the time.

British leader of the Liberal Democrats party Ed Davey falls from a paddle board, at Lake Windermere in Windermere, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Phil Noble     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Ed Davey had a serious point to make about sewage, as well as having fun on Lake Windemere. (Reuters)

Davey and his team are well aware that the paddleboading stunt was widely shared, "ahhh the paddleboarding" he nods, putting it into third place. This one was important, "because I care a lot about sewage".

The paddleboarding pictures were taken on Lake Windemere, which Davey visited with local candidate (and former party leader) Tim Farron to highlight how the Lib Dems would deal with the sewage crisis.

The pictures were funny, yes, but he adds of all his stunts: "We noticed we could get over a serious political message with a great visual.

"And that the broadcasters and the print put it everywhere and repeat it and repeat it and repeat it so we thought this is quite a good idea."

Britain's Liberal Democrat party Leader Ed Davey (L) and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cheadle, Tom Morrison, react as they pose with a Jenga-like game of blue bricks, to signify the fall of the Conservative Party's 'Blue Wall', during a Liberal Democrat general election campaign event at Bramall Hall in Stockport, northern England, on June 4, 2024. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Ed Davey and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Cheadle, Tom Morrison, re-enact the popular blue-wall smash stunt in Stockport. (Getty)

Next up is the stunt that started it all - smashing down the blue wall. More than a year ago, Davey used the visual image of a blue wall falling to symbolise the Liberal Democrats breaking through in Tory strongholds.

He's since rolled out the stunt in other places, including in Stockport recently (pictured above).

"The blue wall got a very serious point across - we're back, we're the ones taking on the Tories in the home counties. In a large part of the south of England if you want to get rid of the Tories, vote Liberal Democrat."

Davay says he enjoyed his stint on This Morning, which saw him model summer fashion on the show. "Jason Donovan calls you sexy, I mean what can I say," he says, as he plumps for his makeover in fifth place.

He struggles a little to pick the top five of his favourites; he also loved visiting Broadsands Beach in Devon, explaining: "The kids were so cute and I loved doing the castle."

Liberal Democrats leader Ed Davey builds sandcastles with children at Broadsands Beach, Paignton, in Devon, England, Monday, June 17, 2024, while on the general election campaign trail. (Will Durrant/PA via AP)
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey builds sandcastles with children at Broadsands Beach, Paignton, in Devon. (Will Durrant/PA via AP)

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