Amid the chaos of last night's election, it would have been easy to forget that Theresa May had the comparatively small task of defending her own seat, the Tory stronghold of Maidenhead.
Having won back in 2015 by a margin of 29,059 votes, Mrs May was surely expecting to cruise to victory once more. However, she faced some unusual challengers. Enter Howling Laud Hope of the Monster Raving Loony party, who said of his campaign, "I'm not standing against Theresa May; she's standing against me," and independent candidate "Lord Buckethead", a self-proclaimed "intergalactic space lord".
But one candidate caught our eye even among these heavyweights: Elmo. Having failed to oust David Cameron in 2015, winning just 37 votes, Elmo was back for more, and this time he had May in his sights. We caught up with him to see what inspired his bid for the PM's constituency.
Friend of Elmo: He's driving, can I help you?
My name's Patrick, from VICE. Can I speak to Elmo?
Would you be able to ring him back in 15 minutes? We just left the hall, we're driving back now. Hang on, he's just pulled over – one second…
Hello, is that Elmo?
Elmo: Yeah, how you doing, hi.
Yeah, good. So, you got three votes in the end?
But it's not about votes, is it.
In an election?
It's about the message. I mean, out of the 13 candidates ten of them lost their deposits, but for me it's never about getting votes – it's about getting the message out there, and I think I've done well today.
One vote was you, right? I guess the other two were your parents?
I don't live in Maidenhead – you'd have to live in the constituency in Maidenhead to vote.
So you didn't even vote for yourself?
I can't. But three people decided to vote for Elmo, so, you know.
So you have no idea who those three were?
Haha. No, I don't.
Not Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch?
Well, I spoke to Theresa May last night – she seems like a nice woman. I just said good luck and I hope you win, and she said thank you. It's not a personal vendetta against her. She seemed devastated, though.
What about Buckethead?
I said hello quickly, but he's got this face mask – well, bucket – on his head. I spoke to the Monster Raving Loony Party, too. I always say hello and have a picture with them. I'm trying to spread a serious message.
You're a fathers' rights campaigner. That's got you into a bit of trouble in the past, right?
Yeah, in 2015 me and my pal were on Buckingham Palace roof for eight hours.
How did you get up there?
Just a ladder. We waited around until armed police left and just climbed up it. It was a couple of weeks after the Paris attack. I was worried about getting shot; as soon as I got up there I rang the police to let them know so they wouldn't shoot me.
You went up in full Elmo Costume?
Just a T-shirt; the Elmo costume is too big to have up the ladders.
So why Elmo?
I have two girls, and it's the first two letters from both of their names – I refer to them as Elmo.
You also called LBC from the roof of Corbyn's house once?
Yeah, last August we were up there for eight hours too and got loads of publicity for fathers' rights. He gave a statement saying he didn't want us on there. On my YouTube there's videos of me speaking to him – he's pretty moody. He should have had more composure and not been so annoyed.
Any plans to run again?
I ran against David Cameron in 2015 and claimed 37 votes, so yes, maybe. I don't mind the three votes – it's about running against the PM so I get a bit more publicity.
Who did you vote for?
I didn't vote because I came up here to Maidenhead. But for me, you know, to put your issue out there, you have to do whatever you can.
Alright, thanks Elmo.