AS IF Scottish politics wasn’t surreal enough already, Scottish Labour’s Ken Macintosh has done his best to take it up a notch.
The Holyrood elections on May 6 mark the first in Scotland in which 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to participate, after the vote was extended to the age group for the referendum on Scottish independence.
And now the Eastwood candidate is keen to encourage 16 and 17-year-olds to register to vote in next month’s elections.
Taking inspiration from the ‘Carpool Karaoke’ segments on The Late Late Show - in which host James Corden drives musicians around Los Angeles while the pair sing along to the artist’s songs - Macintosh is filmed driving between two door-knocking sessions, along with first time voter Charlie Dexter, who reminds Macintosh of the need to encourage 16- and 17-year-olds to register to vote.
The video opens with Macintosh singing along to Things Can Only Get Better by D:Ream, the song used as the Labour Party’s campaign song in 1997.
Macintosh says: “This is D:Ream - when this was a hit, everybody voted Labour. I’m looking for a campaign song.”
Elton John’s I’m Still Standing is suggested and then dismissed, with Charlie saying: “Never mind an 18-year-old song - how are you going to get 18-year-olds to vote?”
Macintosh then suggests that all first time voters head to aboutmyvote.co.uk with their passport or National Insurance number to hand ahead of the midnight deadline on April 18.
Mr Macintosh then asks Charlie for more ideas about campaign songs, asking if there are any songs in the charts that would work.
After Justin Bieber is dismissed despite Mr Macintosh’s feeble protestations - ‘Hey, don’t knock the Beliebers, there’s a lot of them out there’ - Charlie then puts on Mark Morrison’s Return of the Mack, to Mr Macintosh’s approval.
Mr Macintosh said after the video was filmed: “These are the first ever Scottish Parliamentary elections where 16- and 17-year-olds are able to vote but I am very conscious that not everyone is registered to do so.
“I am also aware that going door to door with a clipboard and well-intended exhortations has its limitations, so with only a few days to go to the registration deadline, I thought I’d take a leaf out of James Corden’s book. I’m hoping the combination of a catchy tune, a pointed lyric and a cheesy video will be irresistible.
“I want new voters to use the powers of our Parliament to shape the prosperous decent society we all want to live in. If I can help do that, I will be singing right the way through to May 6.”
We told you Scottish politics was surreal.