Your election survival kit: How to get through the next four days

If we’re all going to get through the next four days, preparation is key, says Lucy Sweet. 

election survival kit

Play election night bingo

Eyes down for a full house! Get your magic marker ready to tick off these clichés: Jeremy Vine jumping around an enormous pie chart, miserable people counting votes in Doncaster at 2am, Iain Duncan Smith arriving at number 10 in a car, a tired reporter standing outside a primary school in the dark, and any TV presenter getting slowly more dishevelled.

Don’t be seduced by Andrew Marr

Due to overexposure at election time, many women begin to suffer from a strange condition that means they start fancying political commentators. Pestonitis or the Marr-o-virus can be serious if left untreated, so act quickly and look very carefully at a picture of James Norton for at least an hour until the urge fades. 

Put on your door-answering face

Similar to ‘resting bitch face’, this expression is as enigmatic as Clint Eastwood chewing on a cheroot in the Mojave desert tempered with the irritability of someone who urgently needs to take a burning apple crumble out of the oven. Accompany with pained nodding.

Prepare a pithy reply

You’re going to need to memorise a clever line or two in case you get vox-popped on your way to the supermarket. Why not channel Brenda from Bristol, who, when asked for her thoughts on the upcoming election in 2017, squawked, ‘You’re joking. Not another one?’ and instantly went viral. End it with an imaginative expletive, or just mutter darkly and shuffle slowly off camera.

Get the gin in for Question Time

All you need is a case of your favourite tipple, a megaphone so that you can shout just that bit louder at the TV, and a box set of Downton Abbey to chase away the demons afterwards. 

Just change the subject

Having a dinner party between now and 13 December? You’ll need a selection of diverting topics for when the conversation inevitably drifts towards proportional representation. Examples could include: ‘Can someone check this weird-looking mole on my back?’ or ‘Did you know that there’s going to be a WINTER Love Island?’

Beat the stress with a stretch

The election circus can take its toll, so namaste your way through it all with a variety of relaxing, soothing and invigorating yoga poses. Funnily enough, the Cobra, the Pigeon and the Downward Dog could also be nicknames for some of the UK’s leading politicians. 

Bring Christmas forward

 If you make this year’s big day 13 December, you won’t even notice the election results. You’ll be half cut, wearing a moustache from a cracker and eating a cold roast potato sandwich as you watch a repeat of Del Boy falling through the bar.

Mix a party playlist

‘Blues Run the Game’ by Jackson C Frank, ‘Making Plans for Nigel’ by XTC, ‘Jeremy’ by Pearl Jam, ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay, anything by Green Day and ‘500 Miles’ by the Proclaimers should cover the main parties, but feel free to add songs that hint at your state of mind. How about ‘Wake Me Up When It’s Over’ by the Cranberries? 

Dress to protest

If all you’ve ever wanted is to dress as a Brexit 50p and harangue MPs and the media outside the Houses of Parliament, now’s your chance! You just require flags, stilts, masks, hats with LEDs on them and a couple of ungrammatical, badly worded cardboard signs and you’ll be ready to annoy Huw Edwards from afar. 

Schedule a day off

The day after, you’ll have been up all night screeching at the swingometer, the results from Rotherham South STILL won’t have been counted and everyone in the world will suddenly be an expert on electoral fraud. Give it time, though, and they’ll get back to talking about which flavour of Christmas Walkers crisps they prefer. (Turkey and stuffing, obviously.)

Hit the uninstall button

Has your Auntie Sue been posting her badly spelt political views on Facebook again? Have you got into a spat with a guy called Pete3628364940284 who is actually a bot who lives in an iPhone in St Petersburg? Delete, delete, delete and only use apps that make you happy – like Just Eat. 

Get your own party started

If you can’t beat ’em, get on the campaign trail yourself! How about the ‘Make More Dresses With Pockets’ party? On the big night, you can wear a funny hat and wave cheerfully as you get one vote – from your mum.