Banksy's Latest Stunt Could Bring Election Legal Woes

Artist says he'll send free print to anyone who proves they didn't vote Tory in UK election
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2017 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – The UK's general election is set for June 8, and the conservative Tories continue to lead in the polls, to varying degrees. One Bristol native, however, is hoping voters cast a ballot for anyone but, and his name is making headlines for how he's making that desire known. Banksy has issued what's basically a "vote against a Tory, get a limited-edition print free" offer to constituents in six Bristol-area constituencies that turned over seats to Conservatives in large measure in the last general election, the Guardian reports. The offer popped up on the artist's website over the weekend, telling voters that if they snap a pic of their ballot with a Banksy-approved vote (i.e., not for a Tory), he'll mail them a print on "archival quality paper."

The Independent notes that the print, which shows a child watching a balloon with the UK flag on it float away, is a revamping of a previous Banksy rendering and will be issued June 9. A note at the end of Banksy's post, meant to fend off bribery charges, says the print is just a "souvenir piece of campaign material" that "is no way meant to influence the choices of the electorate." However, it isn't only the bribery issue that's a concern: There's also a UK law against ballot selfies, which could get some of his fans in trouble if they capture proof of their vote. Per the Representation of the People Act, "no person shall … directly or indirectly induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it" so that others know for whom the vote was cast. The nation's Electoral Commission issued a warning against this during 2016 elections. (Banksy isn't a Brexit fan.)

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