November 29 2019, 15.05
A retired astronomy lecturer wants to become the first person ever to not receive a single vote in a General Election.
William Tobin, 66, is standing against Boris Johnson in Uxbridge and South Ruislip to promote voting rights for expat British citizens.
However, since the law states that British citizens who have lived abroad for over 15 years are no longer permitted to vote not even, Mr Tobin will be able to vote for himself.
Mr Tobin said: “I would take it as a resounding success to get zero votes.
“My goal is for zero votes, I suppose if I achieve this I will be in the Guinness Book of Records.
“I will be very pleased that the electors of the constituency have heard my message and not voted for me.”
The current record for the lowest number of votes in a General Election was in Cardiff North in 2005 and belongs to Catherine Taylor-Dawson of the Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket party.
In this case, the only vote Ms Taylor-Dawson received was her own.
Mr Tobin compared voting rights for expats to the struggle the suffragettes faced in 1918.
He hopes that voting rights will be extended to anyone over 16 and foreign nationals who are permanent residents in the UK.
By putting his friend’s house down as his constituency office in Uxbridge, Mr Tobin is eligible to stand against the Prime Minister.
He received the ten signatures required to stand as a parliamentary candidate by knocking on local doors for four hours.
Since 1985 the deposit in elections to the House of Commons has been £500, which must be handed in, in cash, banker’s draft, or other forms of legal tender, when the candidate submits nomination papers. It is only refunded if the candidate gains 5% or more of the valid votes cast.
When asked what he will say to the Prime Minister on election night, Mr Tobin said: “Why do you think the Brexit referendum provided a legitimate vote when seven million people were excluded?”
Citing former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the reason why he left the country, Mr Tobin quit his job as a lecturer at the University of St Andrews to move to France with his now wife in 1982.
He later spent 25 years in New Zealand as a lecturer at the University of Canterbury before moving to Brittany, France.
Since the New Zealand voting laws are different to those in the UK, Mr Tobin is able to vote in elections and referendum which take place there.
In 1993, he voted for The McGillicuddy Serious Party, whose policies include a return to a mediaeval lifestyle, raising the school leaving age to 65 and replacing money with chocolate fish