Thursday, July 18, 2024

Tory wipeout bingo: online sellers cash in with election games and wallcharts

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Eyes down for a full house on Thursday night: a “Portillo moment” at this election could cause viewers across the country to leap out of their seats crying “Bingo!” as a range of games and wallcharts have been released designed to celebrate a potential Conservative wipeout.

Merchandise available on Etsy includes a Tory 2024 Meltdown Wallchart, which gives bonus points for any losing MP who has been previously made a sir or dame by their party. It has several lines of Conservative candidates ranked from “the inevitable”, including Jonathan Gullis, to “there is a God”, including Suella Braverman and Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

One set of bingo cards, on sale as a digital download for £2.39, urges: “Have fun with friends on election night, as the results come in and you see the Tory losses racking up!” while another selling for £4.98 for 10 cards says: “Even if you lose the game, you still win!

Labour is on course to potentially winning 453 seats and the biggest majority of any postwar government, according to an Ipsos poll of almost 20,000 people.

On some bingo sets players just need to mark off the Tories as they are voted out, while to get a full house on other versions players have to spot a Labour party majority of more than 100, the sound of D:Ream or any mention of the former prime minister Boris Johnson.

Chris Barker, an artist who has sold more than 2,200 of his Conservative Wipeout Bingo cards, said: “What I wanted was a bingo card where you could cross off all the Tories as they lost their elections as a sort of therapeutic and cathartic thing.”

He said he spent hours going through all the constituencies and make a note of candidates standing. “I got them all together and sold 10 cards in the first 10 minutes. I thought – ‘this is big’ – so I carried on.”

He added that even though the printed version could not be delivered in time for the election if ordered now, people were still buying it. “People may want it as a souvenir as well,” he said.

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He has also set up an online version, which will go live on election night, at the web address Portillogeddon.com, in a nod to one of the most memorable election night moments, when the Tory cabinet minister Michael Portillo lost his seat in 1997. Secret features mean that if, for example, Liz Truss loses her seat, a lettuce will drop from the sky. Barker did not disclose his plans for what will happen if Rishi Sunak loses his.

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