Penguin p-p-p-picks off Lib Dems

Professor Pongoo, or independent candidate Mike Ferrigan, marches to 5.6% of first-preference votes in Edinburgh

If there was a symbol of the Liberal Democrats’ discomfiture as their vote plummeted across Scotland and the rest of the UK, it came in the shape of a penguin.

In the Pentland Hills ward for Edinburgh city council, the Lib Dem candidate won fewer votes than Professor Pongoo, or independent candidate Mike Ferrigan, who ran his campaign in a full penguin suit.

Professor Pongoo, who stood to raise awareness of social and environmental issues, took 5.6% of first-preference votes to the Lib Dems’ 4.7%.

Lib Dem officials were left having to explain why they were pipped at the poll by a man dressed as a flightless bird.

“It wasn’t a target ward for us,” said one official. “We didn’t put out any paper in that ward; it’s never been a strong area for us.”

Despite not winning the seat, but with his achievement going viral, the penguin has not ruled out running for higher office. A line of T-shirts was said to be in the offing. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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