With opinion polls still pointing toward a hung parliament, there have been claims that the Conservative Party is secretly examining alternative poll strategies. “It’s quite clear that actually laying out policies isn’t going down too well with the electorate – particularly as they are really crap policies,” opines top political journalist Arthur Tipdock. “The best that David Cameron has come up with recently is scaremongering about the perils of a hung parliament and this ‘Big Society’ do-it-yourself welfare bollocks – the public just aren’t buying it.” Consequently, the Tories are now rumoured to be looking into Afghan President Karzai’s successful strategy in the recent elections in Afghanistan. “This whole idea of ‘buying’ the entire votes of villages and families plays well to core Conservative values of community and family,” says Tipdock. “The slogans write themselves – ‘The family that votes together stays together’, for instance!” However, it is believed that, despite its impressive array of wealthy foreign donors, the many senior Conservatives doubt that the party has the financial resources to be sure of actually buying an entire general election. “Let’s not forget that there’s also the risk of electoral fraud,” notes Tipdock. “Thanks to the secret ballot, people could take the Tories’ money and still vote for someone else! It is quite shocking the way the government have rigged the whole electoral process against the opposition in this way!” Various alternative funding schemes have apparently been considered, but once again, these look to be thwarted by unfair government legislation. “It seems quite clear that these new restrictions on MPs expenses has been designed to hobble our chances at this election,” declares Professor Dick Stroker of the Institute of Furtive Studies, a top Tory think tank. “Apparently, under the new rules, you can’t claim for buying votes! It’s quite outrageous – what else are those expenses meant for? Paying your gardener? Buying hookers? Quite ridiculous!” It isn’t just the new election strategy which the new rules on expenses have derailed. According to some sources, shadow chancellor George Osbourne has been forced to shelve a policy announcement in which he was due to describe how he would finance an economic recovery by claiming it on his expenses.

Despite these setbacks, the Tory think tanks have apparently been enthused by the idea of applying the concept of the market to democracy. “Why should people give up one of their most precious commodities on the basis of mere promises?” asks Professor Stroker. “Why shouldn’t they be able to put a real hard value on their vote, selling it to the highest bidder? After all, it doesn’t go against democratic principles – surely the party able to stump up the most cash is the one most serious about taking power. They’d be quite literally investing in the democratic process.” Another proposal put forward by the Institute is the revival of the so-called ‘Rotten Boroughs’ – which were abolished by the 1832 Reform Act – in which a handful of voters, (usually bought by one of the parties), could return a Member of Parliament. “For nearly two centuries the conventional political thinking has been that these ‘Rotten Boroughs’ undermined the principles of democracy,” explains Stroker. “Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Under our current system there are many very able candidates who can’t get elected to Parliament simply because they are unable to get people to vote for them. Why should Parliament be deprived of their expertise simply because they are not sufficiently photogenic or silver tongued to persuade a bunch of ill-educated hicks to vote for them? That’s the beauty of ‘Rotten Boroughs’, they allow absolutely anybody to become an MP.” Stroker believes that his proposals for ‘Rotten Boroughs’ could be tied in with Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ concept. “Its all about empowering the electorate,” he says. “I mean, if you are a Conservative living in a constituency which always seems to return a Labour MP, how are your interests being properly represented at Westminster? We’d give you the opportunity to set your own ‘Rotten Borough’ to elect an MP of your own choice! If that isn’t democracy in action, I don’t know what is.”

The prospect of a hung parliament is also threatening the Tories’ planned election victory celebrations. According to top tabloid The Daily Norks, which claims to have seen leaked plans for the celebrations, Cameron plans to arrive at Downing Street the day after the election on a chariot, accompanied by standard bearers, having travelled down streets lined with party workers dressed as Roman legionaries, whilst searchlights sweep the sky. Following his chariot will be a procession of his vanquished enemies in chains, including several of the Tory MPs disgraced in the recent expenses scandal, and exotic beasts -rumoured to include Kenneth Clarke – captured in his campaigns. Upon arrival at Downing Street, the entire Parliamentary Conservative Party will engage in a huge Busby Berkeley-style dance routine, involving massed tap-dancing peers forming into various traditional conservative symbols, including the swastika. The newspaper understands that the celebrations will culminate with the leader’s speech, after which Cameron will ascend heavenward in a hot air balloon, leaving the party faithful prostrate before him. Whilst sources claim that senior Labour Party figures are apoplectic – with former Deputy Leader John Prescott threatening to ‘punch that bloody ponce Cameron’s lights out’ – at what they see as the Conservative leader’s arrogance and presumption, Conservative Central Office have denied the paper’s claims. “This story is quite obviously ridiculous,” said a spokesperson. “All we have planned in the event of a victory is an amazing aquatic swimming routine performed by the MPs’ wives in the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament. We’re saving the procession and dance routines for the opening of Parliament, when political leaders from across the UK will be summoned to Westminster to pay tribute to Cameron.” The spokesperson also confirmed that during the election victory procession, defeated former Labour MPs will be paraded in chains before being sold into slavery. “Obviously, in the event of a hung Parliament, we’d have to put these plans on hold,” says the spokesperson. “Instead, David Cameron will be expected to atone for his failure to deliver a majority by ceremonially disembowelling himself. After which his severed head will be delivered to Rupert Murdoch on a platter.”