Banksy election stunt backfires in a big way
Banksy has withdrawn a cheeky offer of a free limited edition print for people who vote against the Conservatives in the general election.
The mysterious street artist said on Instagram that the Electoral Commission warned the offer “would invalidate the election result.”
“I regret to announce this ill-conceived and legally dubious promotion has now been cancelled,” he said.
Banksy had posted the offer to voters in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury and Yate, Kingswood, and Filton and Bradley Stoke on his website on Saturday.
“Simply send in a photo of your ballot paper from polling day showing you voted against the Conservative incumbent and this complimentary gift will be mailed to you,” he wrote.
A lawyer’s note said the print “is in no way meant to influence the choices of the electorate, has no monetary value, is for amusement purposes only and is strictly not for resale. Terms and conditions to follow, postage not included.”
But that wasn’t enough for police, which warned Monday:
“It is a criminal offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983 for any voter to accept or agree to accept a gift or similar in return for voting or refraining from voting. Any person participating in an offer to receive a gift is at risk of being prosecuted.”
“No person shall directly or indirectly induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted or as to the number on the back of the ballot paper given to the voter at that station.”