As the graveyards of key marginal seats the length and breadth of Britain resound to the beating of Voodoo drums, Tory leader David Cameron has been defending his party’s strategy of raising the dead in order to swell its ranks and bolster its standing at the polls. “This is entirely in line with our other recent policy initiatives,” he told the press. “The use of Caribbean Voodoo rituals to revive dead voters, for instance, simply underlines our commitment to cultural diversity and religious tolerance. For too long we’ve been perceived as representing only white, middle class, Christians.” According to the former stockbroker this new initiative also forms a key part of the Conservatives’ environmental policies. “Recycling voters is central to our anti-pollution stance – these people would otherwise just moulder away, releasing God knows what in the way of toxins into the environment. Worse still, they could be cremated, contributing to global warming and further damaging the ozone layer,” explains Cameron. “Besides, for far too long we’ve neglected the dead – shunning them and excluding them from society. Let’s face it, most of us only ever remember them on their birthdays, and even then give them nothing more than a few flowers. We aim to get them out of the ghetto of graveyards and bring them back into the heart of the community!” The Tory leader has also dismissed claims that the registering of deceased voters could constitute electoral fraud. “The list of exclusions of eligibility to vote, whilst including Peers of the realm, does not specifically mention death as a disqualification. Our legal experts believe it would only be illegal if someone impersonated a dead voter they had registered. Our dead voters will, of course, be voting in person,” he contends. “Mind you, to avoid any charges of gerrymandering, we will only be registering the dead as voters in the constituencies in which they died.” Political commentators are hailing the strategy as a stroke of genius, arguing that Cameron has once again out manoeuvred the beleaguered Labour government. “For years the Tory party suffered from declining support due to its elderly membership base,” opines Ted Twatchel, political editor of the Daily Excess. “The problem was always that they were dying off too quickly and not being replaced and the party kept embarrassing itself coming up with stupid stunts and half-baked policies to try and attract the youth vote – usually unsuccessfully. Thanks to Cameron’s masterstroke, we now don’t need the youth vote – we can just keep the old bastards going instead!”

The Tories sudden surge in the polls has, inevitably, put Tony Blair and his government on the defensive. Indeed, so worried by the threat posed by the undead legions of conservatism, the embattled Prime Minister has barricaded himself and his family into Ten Downing Street, boarding up the windows and hanging crucifixes on the doors, and firing on anyone who looks like a zombie. “How was I to know that they were representatives of some disabled rights group, lurching and hobbling up Downing Street like that?” protests a wild-eyed Blair, crucifixes and garlic festooned around his neck. “The only way to defeat these fiends is to shoot them in the head! And it isn’t murder! They’re already dead!” Consequently, the Labour party has abandoned all of its plans for new policy initiatives and dropped its next election manifesto in favour of simply issuing pump action shotguns to all of its members, with orders to shoot all zombies on sight. “If nothing else, it should end all these tiresome policy debates,” muses the Premier, cocking a twelve-gauge shotgun. “Gordon Brown and myself are as one on this issue – these Tory-voting abominations must be blasted back to Hell!” Chancellor Gordon Brown, the man tipped to replace Blair as Prime Minister when he finally steps down, has expressed his own concerns over the rising tide of undead voters wandering around Britain’s marginals, warning that their arrival could have dire financial consequences for the country. “Not only are the dead voting Tory, but they are taking the jobs of honest Labour voters,” cautions Brown, in an attempt to rally Trade Union support for the party’s new strategy. “Unscrupulous Tory employers are discriminating against the living to fill their dark Satanic mills with non-union zombies prepared to work for less than the minimum wage!” Even worse, Brown believes, is the fact that the undead pay no taxes whatsoever. “The subsequent drop in government revenues will inevitably undermine our investment programme for the Health Service,” he laments. “Simultaneously, they will be making ever greater demands upon hospitals, as they require limbs and other decaying body parts to be stuck back on at regular intervals!” Brown is now considering the introduction of a ‘Death Tax’. “Perhaps if we can make it too expensive to die, we can stem their flow of living dead recruits,” the canny Scotsman muses.

Top Tories believe that such proposals, along with Home Secretary John Reid’s claims that their voodoo priests do not have valid work permits and are therefore illegal immigrants, are proof that they have Labour on the run with their new strategy. “They’re worried because it isn’t just the Tory dead we’re recruiting,” boasts backbencher Sir Gerard Tartleton-Parkes. “We’ve found that working class corpses are just as likely to vote for us as their middle-class equivalents!” Voodoo experts are not surprised by this development, as the living dead are naturally reactionary. “They seek to cling to the familiar and want the world to be the way it was when they departed – that’s why they’re always so angry and violent and keep eating teenagers. It’s just frustration,” opines Professor Dale Snapper of the Ealing Broadway Institute of Cultural Studies. “Not only that, but their partly decomposed and malfunctioning brains are naturally susceptible to the kind of vague half-baked rhetoric which passes for Conservative policy these days.” Snapper also warns that raising the dead always carries inherent risks – as seen in numerous low-budget and poorly photographed B-movies, zombies have a tendency to turn on their masters and run amok in isolated towns, devouring the brains of everyone they meet. “Before they know it, the annual Tory Party Conference could turn into an abattoir!” he says. According to Tarleton-Parkes the Tories have already experienced a zombie revolt, during their previous attempt to harness the forces of Voodoo. “It was back in 1997 – we were under pressure not just from New Labour, but from the UK Independence Party too. In desperation we tried to save some key marginals by digging up some recently deceased members,” he reveals. “But they went berserk and voted for the UK Independence Party, resulting in the loss of several seats, most notably David Mellor’s. They were obviously confused by the insane rhetoric of these people and seduced by their extreme right-wing opinions which made our candidates seem too liberal!“ This revelation has raised suspicions that, in order to capitalise on their new undead constituency, Cameron’s Tories will be forced to lurch to the right as the next general election draws near, leading Gordon Brown to promise that if he succeeds Blair as Prime Minister and Labour leader, he’ll implement even more reactionary policies to try and sway the zombies his party’s way. “If jettisoning socialism and democracy for fascist dictatorship is the price of saving us from these ravening hordes, then by God, I’m prepared to pay it,” he declared to the recent Labour Conference. “Failing that, we’ll just shoot anyone wearing a Tory rosette in the head. Living or dead, what’s the difference?”