Loonies in popularity test
Anti-abortion campaigners who contested seats in the general election polled on average only 345 votes - and fewer votes than the Monster Raving Loony Party when they contested the same constituency. Research by the National Secular Society found that candidates who stood on a specifically "pro-life" ticket received a total of 17,600 votes throughout the 51 seats in which they stood.
"Before the election, anti-abortion campaigners were threatening a US- style abortion war if MPs didn't heed their message. The electorate, however, had other ideas," said Keith Porteus Wood, general secretary of the society. "They came last in 18 seats, and when they contested seats with the Monster Raving Loony Party, the loonies prevailed each time."
A spokeswoman for the Pro-Life Alliance said that it had been pleased with the results it had had "We stood on the most difficult election platform of all time - abolishing the 1967 Abortion Act," she added. "That around 20,000 people voted for us we find very reassuring." Glenda Cooper