Elections can be a close shave for most candidates but a poll in Haringey has found Labour to be the most beard-friendly political party.
The Haringey branch of the Beard Liberation Front, a good-humoured campaign to promote a positive image for facial hair, conducted the unusual poll online this week.
A raft of hirsute (that’s bearded to you and I) candidates from all parties were put forward to be judged not on their policies, personalities or politics, but the quality of their chin straps.
Labour’s Joe Goldberg and Adam Jogee led the polls with 28 and 27 per cent respectively as voters got online in droves to fight against pogonophobia – the fear of beards.
Close behind in third was Liberal Democrats group leader Richard Wilson with 21 per cent, followed by Conservative candidate Justin Hinchliffe, who picked up 18 per cent of the votes.
BLF campaigner and poll organiser Keith Flett said: “We had a few hundred votes which, given these are local elections, could very well prove to be an excellent turnout.”
Allegations of rigging were dismissed by Mr Flett, who insisted every vote was independently verified.
He said: “We just do it for a bit of fun but we’re trying to encourage people to grow beards and for there to be a broader spectrum of image in politics.
“The Green Party has a number of hirsute candidates, while the Lib Dems seem to have made a move to more clean-shaven politics. Labour are coming on, but the Tories are still very poor, though Mr Hinchliffe has been has been a standard bearer for bearded politics for some time.
“I think the jury is still out on what sort of image a beard gives you – that is part of our campaign. We argue it adds gravitas to candidates but sadly some people think you are hiding something behind it.
“I think in politics the latter view remains more common, and I don’t expect we’ll see David Cameron growing a beard any time soon.”