Banksy offers Bristol electorate free print if they vote against Tories

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Anonymous street artist makes limited-edition artwork pledge to six south-west constituencies

Graffiti artist Banksy has offered voters a free limited edition print if they vote for anyone other than the Conservatives this Thursday.

The anonymous artist made the offer to voters in the Bristol North West, Bristol West, North Somerset, Thornbury and Yate, Kingswood, and Filton and Bradley Stoke constituencies.

Banksy posted the offer on his website on Saturday.

Simply send in a photo of your ballot paper from polling day showing you voted againstthe Conservative incumbent and this complimentary gift will be mailed to you, he wrote.

A legal note beneath the post insists that the offer is not meant to be seen as a form of bribery toward potential voters.

The disclaimer states: This print is a souvenir piece of campaign material, it is in no way meant to influence the choices of the electorate, has no monetary value, is for amusement purposes only and is strictly not for resale. Terms and conditions to follow, postage not included.

However, the Bristolian does not warn fans about the legal risks of breaching election secrecy laws by taking pictures of a ballot paper. There are strict rules around the voter secrecy under the Representation of the People Act.

The law states: No person shall directly or indirectly induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted or as to the number on the back of the ballot paper given to the voter at that station.

Fearing that selfie-taking voters would accidentally breach these rules, last year the Electoral Commission issued a stern warning about ballot selfies before the EU referendum.

Due to the potential breach of the law, intentionally or not, we strongly advise against any form of photography taken inside a polling station. However, if a voter would like to highlight their participation in the elections, we suggest this is done outside the polling station before or after they vote, they said.

Many polling stations have installed signs warning against taking photographs.

The constituencies targeted by the artist, who is known for the overt political overtones in his work, largely returned Conservative victories two years ago.

Bristol North West is a bellwether seat that has reflected the national vote since 1974 and was most recently held by Conservative Charlotte Leslie.

North Somerset was a win for former defence secretary, Conservative Liam Fox in 2015, while Luke Hall is the incumbent in Thornbury and Yate after taking the constituency from the Lib Dems in the last election.

Kingswood has been represented by Conservative Chris Skidmore since 2010 and Jack Lopresti, Conservative, has been in control of the Filton seat since 2010.

The only seat that returned a non-Tory MP in the last election on Banksys list was Bristol West, which elected Labours Thangam Debbonaire in 2015.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jun/03/banksy-offers-bristol-electorate-free-print-if-they-vote-against-tories